Work underway to deliver safer Murchison Highway

Media Release

DC185/2016

16 November 2016

Joint release with:

Rene Hidding

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure

  • Five-kilometre section north of the Pieman Road turnoff to be upgraded to improve visibility
  • Upgrades will widen and strengthen the road to improve heavy vehicle safety, and install safety barriers
  • Improved links between key locations, including mines and Burnie Port, to boost west coast economy

Work is set to start on upgrading five kilometres of the Murchison Highway to improve road safety and help manage growing freight traffic on the west coast of Tasmania.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the upgrade, which will occur north of the Pieman Road turnoff, will improve road safety for residents and tourists sharing the road with heavy vehicles.

“The project involves widening and strengthening the road to more safely cater for heavy vehicle access, as well as improving safety for all road users by installing road safety barriers and improving visibility of oncoming traffic in specific areas,” Mr Chester said.

“Sections of the existing road have relatively narrow lane widths and tight curves, so widening the road will make it safer and more efficient.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said the highway was part of the main road freight corridor connecting Zeehan, Strahan and Queenstown, as well as most major mines on the west coast with the Burnie Port and the state's primary road network.

“The existing highway requires improvements to meet the Tasmanian guidelines for high productivity vehicles,” Mr Hidding said.

“This project supports the Australian and Tasmanian governments' shared commitment to provide road infrastructure and services that are safe, support economic growth and enhance the travelling experience for all road users.”

VEC Civil Engineering has been awarded the construction contract and the works, occurring over two construction seasons, are expected to be completed by May 2018.

The $6.98 million project is jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments under Round Five of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme,which seeks to increase heavy vehicle safety and productivity by fixing roads and improving connections to freight networks.

For more information on the HVSPP, including funded projects and the application process, visit http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/Heavyvehicles/Index.aspx.