Major construction of the $786 million New Bridgewater Bridge is underway, with important pieces of the project’s temporary bridge arriving on site.
The project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $628.8 million and the Tasmanian Government providing the remaining $157.2 million.
The new bridge is touted to form the missing link in Tasmania’s National Highway, removing the bottlenecks currently experienced at each end of the bridge, particularly during peak travel times.
New, free-flowing interchanges will also be built at Bridgewater and Granton, improving travel between the Brooker, Lyell and Midland highways.
“I’m thrilled to see major construction start on the New Bridgewater Bride, which is going to make a real difference to how local communities, freight and visitors get around,” said Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King.
“Around 85 per cent of construction is expected to be delivered by employing locals and through subcontract agreements with Tasmanian businesses, which are recruiting extra capacity into their organisations thanks to this transformational project.”
The first six of 12 barges have arrived at the project site and will be floated into place and settled on the mudflats adjacent to the causeway.
The remaining six barges are due to arrive in early May and will then be linked to a temporary steel-framed bridge built from the Bridgewater foreshore across the Derwent, from which the new bridge will be constructed.
This temporary bridge will provide equipment such as large cranes and construction vehicles access across the river to build the new bridge’s foundations and structure, without interrupting traffic on the existing Bridgewater Bridge.
“Work is progressing quickly with work nearly complete on the new Gunn Street off-ramp from the Midland Highway and a temporary southbound off-ramp from the Brooker Highway to Black Snake Road, and construction continuing on the pre-cast production facility,” added Tasmanian Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson.
The new bridge is expected to be open to traffic by the end of 2024, with the project to be completed in 2025.