Tasmania road upgrade project gets federal boost


Hidding says the upgrade will contribute to road safety benefits around Perth

Tasmania road upgrade project gets federal boost
Hidding sees road safety benefits in the project.

 

The federal government has announced $72.5 million funding to upgrade Midland Highway between Symmons Plains and Launceston in Tasmania’s north.

The total $80.6 million Perth Link Roads project is expected to improve safety and travel times in the region.

Federal infrastructure and transport Darren Chester says the project is integral to the 10-year $500 million Midland Highway Upgrade plan.

"The Perth Link Roads project will be delivered two years earlier than originally scheduled, creating significant travel time savings and much better connectivity between the south and north of Tasmania sooner," Chester says.

Tasmanian senator Jonathon Duniam says the project will connect the current projects underway between Symmons Plains and south of Perth and from Perth to Breadalbane, delivering a minimum 3 star AusRAP safety rating over a continuous section of the highway between Symmons Plains and Launceston.

"The project will improve safety and efficiency by removing heavy vehicles from the centre of Perth as they travel to and from the northern and north-western ports, and also make the main street safer for pedestrians," Duniam says.

Tasmanian infrastructure minister Rene Hidding says the Midland Highway project was progressing well, with projects at Kempton to Melton Mowbray completed in May and the first stage of Mangalore to Bagdad completed in March.

The Midland Highway upgrade is jointly funded by the federal government and the Tasmania government on a 80:20 basis.

"We are already realising the safety benefits of the upgrade with the central wire rope barrier installed on one of the first projects delivered, preventing a potentially fatal outcome from a recent crash," Hidding says.

"Even better, a project of this size and cost will result in millions being injected back into the economy with numerous flow-on benefits for local businesses, and I am very pleased it has been brought forward by two years."

Construction is expected to start in early 2018 and be completed in mid-2020, weather permitting.

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