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B-double access key to Tassie highway upgrades

A total of $120 million will be used to bring one of Tasmania’s highways up to B-double standard – with straightening, widening and adding additional passing lanes all part of the upgrades.

A section of the Tasman Highway known as The Sideling, between Launceston and Scottsdale, is known for its spectacular scenery and its challenging bends, which aren’t very truck-friendly.

And it’s for this reason that the Dorset Council has long considered the Sideling to be a barrier to the economic prosperity of the North-East region.

Stage 1 will involve upgrading a 15-kilometre section of the Tasman Highway between Minstone Road.

Evaluation of tenders for the first section, from the Sideling lookout to Whish-Wilson Road, is currently being finalised.

Works on this section will include road widening, pavement improvements, the provision of stopping bays, drainage works and safety improvements, allowing it to accommodate B-doubles.

The first section is expected to be completed in 2023.

The second section of Stage 1, from the intersection of Whish-Wilson Road to the intersection of Minstone Road, is in the design stage. It is scheduled to go to tender later this year and be completed in 2024.

The Tasmanian Government has also announced the following road funding:

  • $786 million new Bridgewater Bridge;
  • Continuation of the $565 million Midland Highway Action Plan;
  • $350 million South-East Traffic Solution between Sorell and Hobart; and
  • $280 million in works on the Bass Highway between Launceston and Marrawah.
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