Preferred tenderer chosen for Tasmania’s Bridgewater Bridge

The winning design put forward by McConnell Dowell Constructors has been selected featuring a new, standalone four-lane bridge downstream of the existing bridge.

In the biggest milestone to date for the new Bridgewater Bridge project in Tasmania, McConnell Dowell Constructors has been named as the preferred tenderer to deliver the state’s largest ever transport infrastructure project.

The Australian Government has also committed an additional $167.8 million to get this crucial project delivered, bringing the Commonwealth’s total funding to $628.8 million.

The selection of the preferred tenderer on December 22 followed a comprehensive procurement process that saw two competing tenderers working collaboratively with the Tasmanian Government over the past 12 months to develop their own designs and tenders for the project.

The winning design put forward by McConnell Dowell Constructors has been selected featuring a new, standalone four-lane bridge downstream of the existing bridge, including enhanced interchanges at Granton and Bridgewater, a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians and a navigation height matching the Bowen Bridge.

Following extensive consultation on the Government’s reference design in late 2020, a number of enhancements have been incorporated by the preferred tenderer into their design. These enhancements include a southbound on-ramp onto the bridge from Bridgewater, and more connections between the Brooker and Lyell Highways allowing easier access for motorists travelling to and from New Norfolk.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the project is a key project in the $1.7 billion Hobart City Deal.

“This project is another example of all levels of government working together to guide and encourage investment to leverage Hobart’s natural amenity and build on its position as a vibrant, liveable and connected city.”

Tasmania’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the new bridge would fix the missing link in Tasmania’s national highway.

“The upgrade will benefit approximately 22,000 people that travel across the bridge each day, including local residents, commuters and freight vehicles,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Construction will support around 830 jobs, including the creation of more than 200 new jobs for locals. This will deliver an important economic boost to the local economy.

“Through this project and many others, Tasmanians are benefitting from the Australian Government’s record $110 billion investment in the infrastructure to get them home sooner and safer.”

RA has welcomed the incorporation of active transport elements such as the shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists into the project design.

Roads Australia President Michael Bushby and CEO Michael Kilgariff both welcomed the announcement that following a rigorous tender process involving several RA members.

“The new Bridgewater Bridge is destined to become an iconic piece of transport infrastructure which will unlock safety and productivity outcomes, enhance economic opportunities and improve community amenity,” they said.

“As well as providing a significant boost to the capacity of Hobart’s road network and reducing travel times for commuters, the new standalone four-lane bridge will be of significant benefit to freight movement between northern and southern Tasmania. Reducing freight transit times is especially important as the state’s population grows and local producers seek opportunities to take their goods into new markets.”

“The Midland Highway is the key connector between Northern Tasmania and Hobart, and the new Bridgewater Bridge will relieve one of the last major constraints on the route. In this respect, it is not only a significant piece of transport infrastructure for Tasmania, but also a critical link in the nation’s integrated transport network. The new bridge will promote employment growth and help Tasmania to leverage its strengths by facilitating exports to interstate and international markets.”

RA also welcomed the way local communities had been engaged throughout the design process, while commending the incorporation of active transport elements such as the shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists into the project design.

“It has been especially encouraging to see the way local communities have been engaged throughout the design process, with the final design reflecting feedback received and ensuring greater connectively and a more seamless experience for the estimated 22,000 people who will use the new bridge on a daily basis,” Mr Bushby and Mr Kilgariff said.

“RA especially welcomes the incorporation of active transport elements such as the shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists into the project design. This is a powerful demonstration of how road infrastructure enables other transport modes and can enhance community amenity.”

McConnell Dowell Constructors will commence design-specific site investigations, finalise designs and prepare construction management plans in early 2022. Major construction is due to start in mid-2022 following the approval of a Tasmanian Major Project Planning Permit, and the award of the design and construct contract.


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