Work on two of the final three sections of safety upgrades under Tasmania’s $565 million Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan are set to commence within weeks.
Construction activity will initially be focused on a 10-kilometre section of the highway near Oatlands, with preliminary works also to start on a seven-kilometre section near Ross.
The works are being carried out under a new $37 million contract awarded to Launceston-based engineering company Shaw Contracting.
The 10 Year Action Plan is jointly funded with $452 million from the Australian Government and $113 million from the Tasmanian Liberal Government.
“The safety improvements will reduce the risk of head-on and loss-of-control crashes and achieve a minimum 3 star AusRAP safety rating for the Midland Highway,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce.
“The Oatlands section extends from Jericho to south of York Plains and the Ross works will take place between Mona Vale Road and Campbell Town.”
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson, adds the works at both sites include road widening, extending sealed shoulders, and providing additional overtaking lanes.
“Safety barriers will also be installed along the centre of the highway at both sites, as has been achieved progressively along the highway. Flexible safety barriers reduce fatalities and serious injury by absorbing the force of a crash, slowing and diverting excessive force away from people inside vehicles. With 250 repairs to the central barrier, avoiding that number of run-off-road and head-on crashes suggests that our investment has already saved lives,” Ferguson said.
“Work at both sites is scheduled for completion in mid-2024, weather permitting.”
So far, 70 per cent of the 10 Year Action Plan safety improvements have been completed.
Approvals for the final section, north of Campbell Town, are currently being progressed, with works planned on this section later in 2022.