AS the deadline for the final design of the new Bridgewater Bridge draws closer there are concerns the Derwent Valley is not going to benefit from the new infrastructure.
Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw said he looked forward to the start of the new Bridgewater Bridge project as soon as early next year.
“However the initial concept design worries our community and council as it depicts some convoluted connectors,’’ Mr Shaw said.
“We would like those addressed before any projects are awarded.”
The concerns centre around the on and off ramps to the bridge, both from the Lyell Highway and from Boyer Road. When entering or exiting the new bridge from the Lyell Highway, commuters will be required to loop through Granton on Main Road and a new off-ramp where Black Snake Road is currently.
The loop to join or exit the bridge will add about one to 1.5km further than the current Lyell Highway to Bridgewater Bridge junction.
From Boyer Road, entering the bridge will require commuters to enter from Old Main Road.
“We have recently expressed our concerns in writing, and I’ve met State Growth Minister Michael Fergusson to discuss the on and off ramps and connections from the Brooker to Lyell Highways,’’ he said.
Mr Shaw suggested a shorter diversion from the bridge directly to the Lyell Highway, similar to the Glenorchy off-ramp on the Tasman Bridge in Hobart.
“We want to make sure that our community is not worse off than before the new bridge has its plans finalised.”
A contract for the construction will be awarded later this year, with a detailed design for the construction to be completed shortly afterwards.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022 with an aim to have vehicles over the bridge in late 2024.
Meanwhile a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works chaired by Hobart MLC Rob Valentine is calling for submissions on the proposed new Bridgewater Bridge.
The committee will be conducting public hearings into the project and is seeking written submissions from interested parties.
Submissions need to be submitted by August 9 and a public hearing will be held on August 19. For more information call the committee’s secretary on 6212 2248.