Tas Gov changes plans for proposed Bass Highway Leith overpass

Proposed Bass Highway – Leith junction improvements. Image: Tasmanian Government.

The Tasmanian Government has responded to community feedback about a proposed overpass on the Bass Highway at Leith and will instead pursue other upgrade options to provide safer access to the highway from two existing junctions.

In 2017, a $10 million overpass was proposed to connect the northern and southern parts of Leith Road, removing the need to turn right on and off the Bass Highway.

Following feedback from the community, the concept design was later revised in 2018 to include slip lanes and ramps to reduce the amount of traffic travelling through local roads in Leith.

Tasmania’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson has now announced that instead of building a grade-separated overpass, the Bass Highway junctions with Short Street and Braddons Lookout Road will be structurally improved, making it easier and safer for vehicles to enter and exit the highway.

Minister Ferguson said the new design was aimed at offering “non-negotiable” safety upgrades.

“We are determined to deliver an upgrade which improves safety – that is a non-negotiable. After the upgrade is completed, the Department of State Growth will closely monitor traffic conditions and safety performance to ensure the risk of crashes is mitigated,” the Minister said.

“This is a new design, arrived at as a result of feedback and additional expert engineering advice procured by the Department of State Growth,” he added.

The new design features a structured separation of right-turning traffic to improve safety at the intersections. This will enable improved visibility for vehicles turning right both on and off the Bass Highway at both intersections and a hard separation for both left and right turning vehicles.

Junction upgrades will include:

  • Provision of chevron line-marking to separate turning traffic (turning left into Braddons Lookout Road or Short Street) from through Bass Highway traffic to improve visibility of oncoming traffic for those turning right out of the junctions. Minor widening of the Bass Highway will be required to provide this treatment.
  • Provision of a median island to separate turning traffic (right out of Braddons Lookout Road or Short Street) from through traffic (Bass Highway)

The Department of State Growth will provide more information about these upgrades in the first quarter of 2022 and will be seeking the feedback from the community on the final design.

A summary of the consultation outcomes can be viewed online at: www.transport.tas.gov.au/leithsafetyupgrade


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