Huon Highway—Summerleas Road intersection upgrade underway

Media Release

DC017/2017

31 January 2017

Joint release with:

Rene Hidding

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure

Eric Abetz

Senator for Tasmania

  • First sod turned on crucial safety upgrade, to help tackle the growing risk of cross-highway crashes at the busy intersection
  • The project will be a major investment in Tasmanian transport infrastructure and jobs
  • Upon completion, Summerleas Road will pass safely under the Huon Highway

Works to improve safety at the intersection of Huon Highway and Summerleas Road near Kingston are getting underway, with the first sod turned today.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the Australian and Tasmanian governments were investing $21.87 million in the key safety upgrade.

“The intersection of the Huon Highway and Summerleas Road is a key connection point in the Kingborough municipality. It links residential areas to commercial and educational facilities, and Huon Valley communities and industries with Hobart and beyond,” Mr Chester said.

“Cross-highway crashes at the busy intersection have been steadily increasing over recent years. This project will prevent the need for traffic to cross over the highway, giving motorists a safer, smoother ride through the area. I know that this important project has been championed for a long time by Senator Eric Abetz who lives in the local community.”

Senator for Tasmania Eric Abetz said the project represented a significant investment in Tasmania's transport infrastructure and the creation of jobs in the state, and despite Labor's claims to the contrary, was being delivered on time.

“Construction works are being undertaken by a joint venture between two experienced Tasmanian companies—VEC and Shaw,” Senator Abetz said.

“In addition to direct employment within the main contractors, it is estimated that more than 20,000 sub-contractor hours will be needed to deliver this project over the next 18 months. This is an important upgrade for people in Kingston and the Huon Valley who use this dangerous intersection daily.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said the upgrade will improve driving conditions for all motorists.

“The new intersection will separate the Huon Highway from Summerleas Road, which will pass underneath the highway, and the dedicated on and off-ramps will create safer access for traffic entering and leaving the highway,” Mr Hidding said.

“Vehicles travelling along the highway will be able to continue uninterrupted by Summerleas Road traffic crossing the highway, and opposing traffic will be separated by central flexible safety barriers. Importantly, it will also improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists by providing shared pathways and improved bus stop facilities.

“Motorists will start to notice changes, including traffic management, at the site in coming weeks as construction gets underway in earnest.”

The Australian Government has committed $17.5 million and the Tasmanian Government $4.37 million to the project, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2018.