The first stage of the $80 million upgrade to Illawarra Road, a key freight link between the Midland and Bass Highways in Tasmania’s north, has been completed.
The completed first stage includes widening the lanes and road shoulders between the Longford roundabout and Bishopsbourne Road and improving safety at the Bishopsbourne Road intersection.
A heavy vehicle rest area has also been created near the Longford roundabout.
Work started on the first stage in March 2022. Illawarra Road is a key link providing efficient access to the freight hubs between Hobart and the northern regions of Tasmania.
Planning is progressing on the next stage of improvements, with detailed design underway on a 2.9-kilometre section at the Bass Highway end of the Illawarra Road.
The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments and aims to improve productivity and efficiency in moving freight and increase safety for all road users.
The Australian Government has committed $64 million under the Roads of Strategic Importance program and the Tasmanian Government $16 million to upgrade Illawarra Road from the Bass Highway to the Perth Link.
“The Australian Government believes in infrastructure investment that not only improves safety for those on our roads but reduces congestion and allows motorists to get to their destination sooner,” federal infrastructure and transport minister Catherine King said.
“The completion of this road will benefit Tasmania and provide a major economic stimulus to the centres which feed in and out of the Illawarra Road.
“This project, which is funded under our Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, is important to both Tasmanian businesses and the tourism industry.
“Improved infrastructure and enhanced safety will benefit all motorists travelling on this key transport link.”
Tasmanian infrastructure and transport minister Michael Ferguson said improving the freight transport infrastructure will ensure that the Tasmanian economy will continue to grow strongly.
“Improving the efficiency and safety of transport networks enhances productivity in the broader economy and is a priority for the Tasmanian Government,” Ferguson said.
“We are investing heavily in upgrading key freight routes and strengthening bridges to cater for modern heavy vehicles.
“Illawarra Road is a key link between the north and south of the State. Its upgrade will benefit not only our freight operators but provide a safer, more efficient route for everyone using this road.”