Works to improve the road safety of Tasmania’s key north-south freight route are moving ahead with the completion of a major project near St Peters Pass and works starting on two new sections.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, said the Australian and Tasmanian Governments have committed $500 million in funding to the Midland Highway 10-Year Action Plan, which outlines priority projects and a strategy for their delivery.
“The Australian Government recently committed an additional $52 million in the Federal Budget to enable construction of additional priority projects as part of the Midland Highway Upgrade package, taking our total investment to $452 million,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“We’re putting critical safety infrastructure first, with construction on this project underway and scheduled for completion by mid-2021.
“This is yet another example of the Australian Government’s commitment to roll out our $110 billion nationwide infrastructure pipeline, supporting jobs and communities at a time when it is needed most.”
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said a $39 million package of improvements to the highway between St Peters Pass and south of Tunbridge has been completed.
“The project, undertaken by Hazell Bros, delivered road alignment and junction improvements, extensions to sealed shoulders, additional overtaking lanes and installation of a flexible safety barrier, with more work on the Midland Highway set to get underway shortly,” Mr Ferguson said.
“Shaw Contracting has started work on upgrading a 1.9-kilometre stretch of the highway from Powranna Road to south of Symmons Plains.
“Andrew Walter Constructions will also start works this month on upgrading a 1.1-kilometre section of the highway from south of Blackman River Bridge to Tunbridge Tier Road.
“As of October 2020, approximately 90 kilometres of the Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan is complete, with approximately 60 kilometres remaining in design and in construction.”
Senator for Tasmania Claire Chandler said the upgrades to both sections will include road widening and rehabilitation and the installation of flexible safety barriers.
“Road upgrades, including the installation of safety barriers will make the drive safer for Tasmanians and reduce head on crashes,” Senator Chandler said.
“In addition to delivering safer and more efficient roads, the Midland Highway upgrade project continues to create jobs and support local business, with the contractors involved in the three projects all Tasmanian owned and operated.
“Work on the Powranna section will also include the upgrade of Powranna Road junction.”
The $10.2 million Powranna to Tunbridge project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $7.1 million and the Tasmanian Government $3.1 million.