It’s all go for new bridge

TASMANIA’S largest-ever infrastructure project, the new Bridgewater Bridge is expected to commence construction soon, with early works already progressing on site.

After being announced as the preferred contractor in December 2021, McConnell Dowell was awarded the design and construction contract in July and has spent the past six months further developing the bridge design and preparing to start work on the new bridge.

The new four-lane bridge will fix the missing link in Tasmania’s National Highway, improve connections at Bridgewater and Granton, and cater for cyclists and pedestrians with a safe shared path. The project will remove the notorious bottleneck at the Granton roundabout, providing the 22,000 vehicles that use the bridge each day with free-flowing access to the Brooker Highway, Lyell Highway and Midland Highway. On the Bridgewater side, a new ramp from Boyer Road on to the bridge will offer easy access for local traffic wanting to travel south, while Gunn Street will join with Old Main Road under the new bridge to create a continuous connection and more open space.

On the southern side of the river, the journey from Hobart to New Norfolk will be uninterrupted, with the creation of a dedicated slip lane from the Brooker Highway on to the Lyell Highway. Creating jobs and supporting Tasmanian industry is a key focus of the project, with McConnell Dowell working to engage a number of Tasmanian organisations to assist with the delivery of the project. It is expected that traffic will be driving on the new bridge by the end of 2024. Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said the design was the result of extensive planning and community engagement to find the best solution to meet the needs of the community now and into the future.

“The Tasmanian Government has worked extremely hard over the last two years to sort out funding, planning, designs and selecting a qualified contractor. I am thrilled that after decades of talk, our action has led to this project coming to life which will meaningfully improve Tasmanians’ lives,’’ Mr Ferguson said. Lyons Labor MP Brian Mitchell said the works would deliver safety, capacity and connectivity improvements on this crucial link on the Tasmanian National Highway.

“This is a major transport infrastructure upgrade which aims to meet the current and future needs of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike,’’ he said. Meanwhile, one southbound lane of the Brooker Highway between the Granton roundabout and Black Snake Road overpass has been closed from Monday this week for two weeks.

One lane will stay open to traffic and a 60km/h speed limit will be in place while geotechnical drilling is done as part of early activities for the New Bridgewater Bridge project.