Bridge to the future – Mid-year start for new bridge work

THE successful tenderer to build the new $628.8 million Bridgewater Bridge is McConnell Dowell Constructors Pty Ltd – as exclusively revealed by the Gazette in November.

Construction of Tasmania’s largest-ever transport infrastructure project will start mid this year.

The project has been described as fixing the missing link in Tasmania’s national highway.

Construction will support about 830 jobs, including the creation of more than 200 new jobs for locals. Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson said the new Bridgewater Bridge would cut travel times for Tasmanian commuters, create jobs by improving freight routes and boost the local economy.

“The Tasmanian Government is serious about ensuring this project is cost-effective and is also a real benefit for the Tasmanians who use the bridge every day,’’ Mr Ferguson said.

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

Following consultations, the design will include a southbound on-ramp on to the bridge from Bridgewater and more connections between the Brooker and Lyell Highways allowing easier access for motorists travelling to and from New Norfolk.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Claire Chandler said locals were engaged throughout the development of the project to have input in the final design of the new Bridgewater Bridge.

“A number of changes requested by local residents have been incorporated into the final design for the new bridge, including a direct route for drivers travelling between Hobart and New Norfolk without having to travel through a roundabout,” Senator Chandler said.

Acting Derwent Valley Mayor Jessica Cosgrove and Brighton Mayor Leigh Gray both thanked the Government for taking on board feedback from their councils and community.

“Following a formal submission from Council and extensive consultation undertaken by the project team, we are pleased to see that the design has been updated making access through the Granton area more streamlined and quicker,’’ Ms Cosgrove said.

Mr Gray said a project of this scale provided huge opportunities in education, training and employment of locals and the development of the local workforce.

“A new Bridgewater Bridge will boost our local economy and employment opportunities, significantly improve Tasmania’s vital north-south transport line, improve safety and reduction congestion for the 22,000 vehicles that travel across the bridge every day,’’ he said.