The route is a key freight and passenger road connecting the North-West to the West Coast of Tasmania.
Works will include the installation of safety barriers, the improvement of visibility for oncoming traffic in specific areas and the widening and strengthening of the road. This will better cater for heavy vehicles improving the safety of the route.
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said the Murchison Highway was critical for the movement of freight to Burnie Port for export and to other locations within Tasmania.
“The majority of mining freight is moved via the Murchison Highway,” Ferguson said.
“The highway has been progressively upgraded from Belvoir Road south to Sterling River Bridge to support an expected increase in mining and tourism traffic.”
Federal Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce said the Murchison Highway traverses some of the most challenging terrain in Tasmania and is paramount to the movement of our critical mineral exports from the west coast.
“The Federal Government recognises the importance of ensuring that the corridor remains open and safe at all times. There are synergies between this upgrade and our investment in the $40 million Port of Burnie Shiploader. Together these projects provide confidence and certainty to Tasmania’s resources sector as we plan our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pearce said.
Tasmanian Member for Braddon Felix Ellis said the work would support local construction jobs and provide a big boost to the North-West economy.
“The West Coast is one of our economic engine rooms and the Murchison Highway connects mines, fish farms and local residents to ports and suppliers on the North-West Coast,” Ellis said.
Tenders close on 23 September with works scheduled for the 2020-21 construction season.
The upgrade was jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Roads of Strategic Importance initiative with the Federal Government committing $35 million and the Tasmanian Government $8.8 million.
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