The Australian and Tasmanian Governments are delivering a safer and more efficient north-south passenger and freight corridor for Tasmania after unveiling the jointly funded $500 million Midland Highway 10-Year Action Plan in May.
Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs and Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding announced that a total of 24 vital upgrades have been identified to improve the safety performance and economic capacity of the Midland Highway.
“Upgrading the Midland Highway will create and sustain hundreds of jobs, slash travel times for motorists and industry and drive economic growth by improving the safe connectivity between the south and north of Tasmania,” Mr. Briggs said.
“Aiming to achieve a minimum 3 star AusRAP safety rating standard for the entire length of the Highway will save lives and prevent crashes, which will deliver greater economic outcomes and more certainty for commuters and local business,” said Mr. Briggs.
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said after decades of talking about making the Midland Highway safer, the Abbott and Hodgman Governments have taken action.
“Unlike the previous Labor-Greens Government, we are getting on with delivering better, safer infrastructure for Tasmania to build on the momentum that stable majority government has delivered,” said Mr. Hidding.
Mr. Hidding says the priority is making the Midland Highway safer using the AusRAP methodology and known, cost-effective road safety treatments including:
- the installation of the successful flexible safety barriers;
- by introducing wider medians;
- removing roadside hazards;
- investment in junction upgrades;
- widening lanes; and
- adding additional overtaking opportunities.
“The first projects under our 10-year Plan have already been delivered. Public consultation is now underway for the biggest road project in the Northern Midlands region for many years, the duplication of the Midland Highway between Perth and Breadalbane, with construction programmed to start by Christmas 2015,” said Mr. Hidding.
Other priority projects to start within the next 12 months include:
- Bagdad to Mangalore safety improvements—road widening, property access improvements, extending sealed shoulders and junction upgrades.
- Kempton to Melton Mowbray—road widening to accommodate a flexible safety barrier, extending sealed shoulders and additional overtaking lanes.
- White Lagoon to Mona Vale—alignment upgrades, road widening, a flexible safety barrier, extending sealed shoulders and additional overtaking lanes.
- South of Tunbridge Stage 2—southbound overtaking lane, road widening, flexible safety barrier and extending sealed shoulders.
“We recognise that there will be some disruption and delays for motorists travelling along the highway as the safety improvements are progressively rolled out. We thank motorists for their patience and their understanding that this is the Government’s top road safety priority and will help save lives,” said Mr. Hidding.