TENDERS are now open for the construction of road safety improvements on the Bass Highway, the key passenger and freight route in the state’s north.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian and Tasmanian governments were funding the upgrade west of Westbury, between the Birralee Main Road overpass and Exton.
“The Australian Government will provide up to $7.7 million and the Tasmanian Government up to $1.9 million in what is a very important road safety upgrade,” Mr Truss said.
“This section of highway is currently single lane and links two divided dual carriageway sections between Hagley and Westbury. Converting this section of highway from single carriageway to dual carriageway will reduce confusion by providing a consistent road environment,” Mr Truss said.
Federal Member for Lyons Eric Hutchinson said improvements to road safety will pay dividends for residents and small towns.
“The work will involve constructing a 3.2km dual carriageway, including the installation of flexible safety barriers and upgrading the highway to a minimum AusRap 3 star safety standard,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“By eliminating head-on crashes and the risk of accidents, local emergency services will be able to allocate their resources elsewhere. Crashes cost an estimated $27 billion per year, let alone the impact on friends and families, so I am happy to see progress being made on this upgrade.”
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said the project will also provide welcome job support for Tasmania.
“Construction is expected to start in October 2015 and works are anticipated to be completed by May 2016,” Mr Hidding said.
Construction of the additional traffic lanes will occur alongside the existing highway. Motorists are urged to take care as speed restrictions and altered traffic conditions will apply. It is not expected that traffic flow will be directly affected by the majority of these works.
Tenders close on Wednesday 9 September and more information is available at http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/road/projects/bass_highway_birralee_main_road_to_exton_-_roadworks
Warren Truss Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Eric Hutchinson Federal Member for Lyons