Bass Highway - Leith Overpass
We are currently investigating options to construct a new overpass on the Bass Highway at Leith.
The proposed overpass will address safety concerns by making access to, and crossing the Bass Highway safer.
The objective of the project is to improve the safety, efficiency and access of the Bass Highway at Leith.
In 2018, we engaged with the community on a number of options. Following feedback from the community at this time, the overpass concept design was revised to include slip lanes and ramps to reduce the amount of traffic travelling through local roads in Leith.
A Multi-Criteria Analysis was used to assess and compare the five options proposed. Each option was ranked against its ability to meet project objectives by the MCA group, which was made up of representatives from RACT, Central Coast Council, Forth Primary School, Forth Primary School Association, and the Tasmanian Transport Association.
The Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) was one part of the initial consultation process, which also included online and in-person community consultation.
The MCA identified the proposed overpass with slip lanes and ramps as the best way of achieving overall contribution to the project objectives.
Community consultation has closed for the proposed overpass on the Bass Highway at Leith.
Seven public consultation sessions were held in Turner’s Beach on Friday, 23 July 2021 and Saturday, 24 July 2021.
Each 90-minute session allowed the community to have dedicated time with a project team member and to ask questions while viewing consultation materials.
Four pop up community consultation sessions were also held across a range of North West locations on Saturday, 7 August 2021 and Sunday, 8 August 2021.
Consultation materials were available for public comment and to view online and during business hours at the Central Coast Council, 9 King Edward Street, Ulverstone, until Wednesday 11 August.
The consultation materials included the consideration of options such as a roundabout, speed reduction, right turn bans, an overpass, and a summary of the next steps.
1. Next Steps Timeline
2. Project Objectives, Strategic Context, Project Timeline
3. Overpass Concept Designs 2018
4. Planning Stage (Multi Criteria Analysis) 2018-2020
5. Multi Criteria Analysis Option Poster
6. Multi Criteria Analysis Detail
7. Option Posters - with and without ramps
No final decision will be made about what the overpass may look like, or whether an overpass will be built, until after the community consultation period has finished.
The objective of the project is to address safety concerns associated with vehicles turning right on to and off the Bass Highway from Short Street and Braddons Lookout Road, while maintaining efficiency and access of the Bass Highway at Leith.
Between May 2010 and June 2020, 15 crashes were recorded at either the Braddons Lookout Road or the Short Street junction.
The efficiency of a highway is measured by how easily and effectively people and freight can move along it.
The Bass Highway is part of the National Highway Network, a system of roads connecting Australia’s capital cities and major regional centres.
The efficiency of the National Highway is important to the Department of State Growth, as it supports productivity and economic growth.
When determining transport solutions, efficiency, in addition to safety, is an important consideration.
Caretaker conventions meant that the public display planned for April would need to be postponed until after the State Election, when the new government had formed.
Given concerns expressed by the community, the public display event was also postponed so that more time could be taken to prepare the information for display about the process and previous options that have been proposed and considered.
No decision has been made on which option will progress.
Any option progressed will require further design work, after the current stage of community consultation.
A reference design (see below) will be created, that will then be provided to the tenderers for the final design and construction of the project.
The final design developed by the contractor must fit within budget, consider community feedback, meet the project’s design requirements, and comply with Central Coast Council planning and any other permit conditions.
A reference design shows what may be built to deliver the project’s design requirements within the budget that is available.
The reference design will be provided to construction companies who tender for a design and construct contract for the project.
No. A contract has not been tendered or awarded. The project is currently in scoping phase.
The Department of State Growth has a process documented for measuring highway noise, outlined in the Tasmanian State Road Traffic Noise Management Guidelines (2015).
For the project, the process outlined in the guidelines would be followed.
Consideration of environment is central to the Department of State Growth’s planning process. A flora and fauna investigation was carried out in early 2021. This investigation included a desktop review, and field investigation in the Leith Road and Bridge Street area. This investigation work will be finalised during the design and development stage.
Any contractor selected will have to prepare a Construction Environmental Management Plan to avoid or minimise impacts on the environment.
The proposed options would involve full or partial acquisition of properties. Property acquisition will be dependent on the option selected. Any acquisition will be undertaken in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act (1993).
The Department of State Growth acknowledges the acquisition of a person’s property is a significant matter and the decision to acquire is very carefully considered and not made lightly.
The acquisition process has not started. After an option has been selected, any acquisition required would be discussed with the respective landowners.
During the initial design stages of a project, draft plans are prepared to show the extent of property acquisition that may be required if the project progresses.
Draft plans were prepared and referred to in meetings with potentially directly impacted landowners, to provide them with more information. These draft plans are not prepared for public release however are a useful tool in allowing landowners to understand the extent of land acquisition that may be required.
During public consultation, there will be options displayed that indicate acquisition of property. The project team have contacted these landowners in advance of consultation.
The project team will work closely with the landowners to involve them in the consultation phase so that they understand how they can participate and provide feedback.
Feedback received from the community during the consultation in 2018 indicated a strong desire that if the overpass between Bridge Street and Leith Road were selected, it be amended to include on/off ramps to the highway to reduce the amount of highway traffic travelling through local roads in Leith.
The inclusion of ramps increased the project area. This meant for the overpass with ramps option, additional land would need to be acquired, including two houses.
Yes. In 2018, traffic was counted using cameras at the Short Street and Braddons Lookout Road intersection, and in two locations, along the Bass Highway.
The traffic volumes obtained were considered when design options were developed. This was one of many factors considered, including the crash history at these intersections.
Across Tasmania, heavy vehicles operate only on authorised routes or under a permit or exemption. Currently there is an existing 10 tonne load limit on Leith Road. The road authority for this road, Central Coast Council, would be responsible for any changes regarding the load limit. At this time, heavy vehicles over 10 tonnes could not travel on the overpass options, unless they have a permit or exemption.
We are currently engaging the public during the consultation phase. The Department of State Growth will consider all feedback received during the consultation process and no final decision will be made until after all feedback has been considered. Feedback will be listened to and will form an integral part of future decisions.
The outcomes of the community consultation will be released online, via the Department of State Growth’s webpage.
If you would like to get in touch with our team, or cannot make the consultation sessions, we would still like to hear from you and will work with you so that your feedback is provided to the project team and considered.
Phone: 03 6210 0662
In late 2017, to immediately improve the safety of the intersections, changes were made to the Leith and Turners Beach bus routes to reduce the need for buses to turn right onto the Bass Highway from Short Street and Braddons Lookout Road.
In May 2018, electronic warning signage was also installed to alert highway drivers of vehicles entering from the side roads.
In 2018, we engaged with the community on a number of options about how to improve the safety, efficiency and access of the Bass Highway at Leith.
The report on the previous consultation period outcomes can be accessed below.
For further information about the project, please contact the project team on 03 6210 0662 or by email at email@example.com