Major construction ramps up on New Bridgewater Bridge
Major construction of the long-awaited New Bridgewater Bridge is underway, with important pieces of the project’s temporary bridge arriving on site.
The $786 million project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $628.8 million and the Tasmanian Government providing the remaining $157.2 million.
The new bridge will form the missing link in Tasmania’s National Highway, removing the bottlenecks currently experienced at each end of the bridge, particularly during peak travel times.
New, free-flowing interchanges will also be built at Bridgewater and Granton, improving travel between the Brooker, Lyell and Midland highways.
The first six of 12 barges have arrived at the project site and will be floated into place and settled on the mudflats adjacent to the causeway.
The remaining six barges are due to arrive in early May and will then be linked to a temporary steel-framed bridge built from the Bridgewater foreshore across the Derwent, from which the new bridge will be constructed.
This temporary bridge will provide equipment such as large cranes and construction vehicles access across the river to build the new bridge’s foundations and structure, without interrupting traffic on the existing Bridgewater Bridge.
The project will support 250 direct and 800 indirect jobs, with a target of 4 per cent of the workforce to come under the project’s Indigenous Participation Plan.
Construction contractor McConnell Dowell has placed an emphasis on skill development and pathway opportunities to introduce new people to the industry.
This includes through the recently completed pre-employment program that saw 50 job-seekers new to the construction industry fast-track their knowledge base and prepare for employment on the project.
A number of these participants have already secured work directly on the project, while others will be employed in the project’s purpose-built pre-cast concrete production facility in Bridgewater.
The Australian and Tasmanian governments are committed to having the new bridge open to traffic by the end of 2024, with the project to be completed in 2025.
For more information about the project, visit bridgewaterbridge.tas.gov.au.
Up-to-date flythrough footage of the project site and a 3D animation showing how the new bridge will be built can be accessed here.
Comments attributable to Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:
“I’m thrilled to see major construction start on the New Bridgewater Bride, which is going to make a real difference to how local communities, freight and visitors get around.
“This project places a critical focus on creating jobs, upskilling workers and supporting Tasmanian industry, with a number of local businesses already engaged on works.
“Around 85 per cent of construction is expected to be delivered by employing locals and through subcontract agreements with Tasmanian businesses, which are recruiting extra capacity into their organisations thanks to this transformational project.”
Comments attributable to Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff:
“After all of the years of planning it is great to have moved into the major construction stage of the project, it means we’ll soon see the new bridge rise before our eyes.
“Having been out to the site many times over the years, all of the activity happening right now is really exciting for not only locals but anyone that travels the north-south route up the middle of the State.
“We’re not on the home stretch as yet but we’re certainly rounding the bend with the finish line coming into view.”
Comments attributable to Tasmanian Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson:
“Getting started on building this temporary bridge is just one of many critical milestones reached so far, with construction across the broader project site also progressing.
“Work is progressing quickly with work nearly complete on the new Gunn Street off-ramp from the Midland Highway and a temporary southbound off-ramp from the Brooker Highway to Black Snake Road, and construction continuing on the pre-cast production facility.
“The project will continue to unlock local jobs and economic stimulus in the short term, while delivering a lasting and long-called-for piece of infrastructure that will see commuters get around safer and sooner – benefiting Tasmania well into the future.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Carol Brown:
“Seeing the first six of 12 barges arrive on the new bridge site is an incredible physical expression of the transformational work continuing to unfold here in Bridgewater.
“Our governments will continue to work together to bring this project – the largest ever investment in a single transport infrastructure project in Tasmania’s history – to life.”
Quotes attributable to Brian Mitchell MP, Member for Lyons:
“This new bridge will connect local communities, create more open space and ensure people travel between the north and south of the state safer and more efficiently.”