The Tasmanian Government has released a strategy to improve safety and travel time on the Bass Highway, between Launceston and Devonport, as part of a $2.2 billion roads and bridges program. 

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson, said that the Bass Highway Corridor Strategy – Launceston to Devonport identifies 66 potential improvements for the 91km section of the highway from Hadspen to east of Port Sorell Road in Devonport, categorised into short, medium and longer-term priorities.

“Short-term upgrade opportunities identified include the extension and creation of overtaking lanes at Parramatta Creek and Sassafras. They also include upgrading intersections at Christmas Hills Road, Oppenheims Road and Cutting Road/East Sassafras Road to improve safety,” Mr Ferguson said. 

“Other high priority works identified include widening shoulders, installing safety barriers and improving the road condition at various points, and the creation of heavy vehicle rest areas.

“The strategy follows an extensive consultation period with key stakeholders and the local community, with the feedback received used to help determine what needs to be done and the priority.

“In addition to community input, the strategy has also looked at current and future demand and the highway’s safety performance.

“The next steps will be to develop detailed designs and to construct the prioritised projects with the available funding for this section of highway.”

Mr Ferguson said, “Tasmania’s North West is a highly productive region of Tasmania and the Bass Highway is the key freight link for our ports as well as the agriculture, forestry and mining industries.

“While the Bass Highway is a major freight artery, it is also a vital connection for family and friends in the communities of the North West Coast.

Mr Ferguson said that the Australian and Tasmanian Governments have jointly committed a total of $50 million in targeted upgrades between Deloraine and Devonport, $100 million in Safety and Freight Efficiency Upgrades between Launceston and Devonport, and $420 million for the Northern Roads Package Stage 2, which in part will fund improvements between Launceston and Devonport.

“The Tasmanian and Former Australian Liberal Government committed a total of $280 million to improvements on the Bass Highway all the way from Launceston to Marrawah.

“While we have very successfully completed a range of projects west of Wynyard, we wanted to set out a properly considered and long term plan for upgrades that would ensure we deal with highest priorities first – just as we did with the Midland Highway.

“This complements the $150 million in joint Australian and Tasmanian Government funding that is currently being delivered to improve the Cooee to Wynyard and Wynyard to Marrawah sections of the highway.”

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