$280m upgrade for key Tassie freight route

Linking the ports, agricultural, forestry and mining industries, this vital Tasmanian freight link is set to receive $280 million in upgrades. Here’s how the money will be spent.

Situated in a highly productive region in the Apple Isle’s north-west, the Bass Highway will undergo much needed improvements from Launceston all the way 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,” said Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson.

He says the corridor strategy is designed to improve safety and travel time on the Bass Highway between Launceston and Devonport.

“The upgrades are part of our record investment in state roads and bridge program with $2.2 billion committed over the next four years.”

Photo: Facebook/Michael Ferguson

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.

“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,” Ferguson added.

“The Bass Highway Corridor Strategy – Launceston to Devonport identifies 66 potential improvements for the 91-kilometre 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.

“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.”

The strategy can be viewed here.

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