The $349.5 million South East Traffic Solution project has reached a major milestone, with the opening of a 2km-long bypass in Tasmania.  

Jointly funded by the Federal and Tasmanian Governments, the new Sorell Southern Bypass runs between the Tasman Highway near Curtain Lane on the southern side of Sorell and the Arthur Highway near Nugent Road.

The bypass is set to greatly improve travel times between Hobart’s CBD and the Southern Beaches and Tasman Peninsula.

It contains roundabouts to help maintain traffic flow and a speed limit of 80km/h, which will ease the travel burden for workers, business and families, unlocking Hobart’s regional potential and improving wellbeing by better connecting Tasmanians.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said the bypass will bring people together and create job opportunities. 

“The Australian Government recognises just how vital upgrades like the Sorell Southern Bypass are for commuters, families and entire communities alike – as it keeps people safe and well connected,” Ms King said. 

“Good infrastructure investment also creates jobs, builds opportunity and unlocks economic growth, which is why our Government is proudly investing $280 million towards the South East Traffic Solution.”

Due to cold weather, the bypass has opened to traffic with a temporary road surface. The temporary surface will be replaced by a final seal in the summer months when the weather is better for long-term sealing works.

The opening of the Sorell Southern Bypass follows the opening of the overpass at the new Hobart Airport Interchange at the start of May. Final works on the interchange will be completed in early 2023.

Under this $349.5 million investment, the duplication of the Tasman Highway and upgraded Penna Road intersection at Midway Point is set to be completed in the coming weeks.

When all components of the South East Traffic Solution are complete, there will be a consistent four-lane highway between Sorell and the Hobart CBD, greatly improving road safety and travel times for all road users on this key transport route.

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson, said the bypass will deliver speed and efficiency to all commuters. 

“The bypass provides a faster, more efficient link between the Tasman and Arthur highways, reducing traffic congestion in the Sorell township,” Mr Ferguson said. 

“The bypass works also provided employment for 48 people, providing a much-needed jobs and economic boost at a critical time for the state.”

Federal Member for Lyons, Brian Mitchell, said the bypass will also provide a huge boost to shoppers and locals at the centre of Sorell. 

“Commuters from the Southern Beaches will love being able to bypass the centre of Sorell on their way to and from work in Hobart, and the bypass will help transform the centre of Sorell for shoppers and locals,” Mr Mitchell said. 

“This is a long-awaited project that the Australian Government is pleased to have helped deliver.”

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