Skip to content

Keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 information for Tasmania -

Transport Services: visit Home
Close Menu

1Current situation

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.

2Project objectives

The objective of the project is to improve the safety, efficiency and access of the Bass Highway at Leith.

3Project Background

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.

4Community consultation

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.

Consultation materials

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

8. Overpass with Ramps Illustration (Modelling)

9. Overpass with Ramps Illustration (Section)

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.

5Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on  Friday, 23 July 2021

What is the project objective?

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.

What safety concerns have been raised by the Leith community prior to 2018?

  • Between 2013 and 2015, Central Coast Council, along with members of the Leith and Forth communities, expressed concerns to the Department of State Growth about the safety of traffic movements across the Bass Highway at Leith.
  • In early 2016 Council wrote to the Department of State Growth expressing their concerns and seeking action.
  • In August 2017, an article was published in the Advocate Newspaper regarding safety concerns for school buses crossing the Bass Highway
  • In August 2017, a fatality occurred in the vicinity of the Braddon Lookout Road intersection
  • In August 2017, the Advocate published another article regarding the intersection
    In September 2017, the Tasmanian Government held a community forum and based on the community feedback, set out their commitment to engage with the community on this project.

What is the crash history at Braddons Lookout Road and Short Street?

Between May 2010 and June 2020, 15 crashes were recorded at either the Braddons Lookout Road or the Short Street junction.

What does highway efficiency mean?

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.

Why were community members previously advised a public display would occur in April?  

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.

What will the design look like?

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.

What is a reference design, and will the reference design be constructed?

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.

Has a contract for construction been awarded?

No.  A contract has not been tendered or awarded. The project is currently in scoping phase.

Would the project increase noise levels around the Leith area?

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.

How will the environment be considered?

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.

How will impacts on the environment be managed for the project?

Any contractor selected will have to prepare a Construction Environmental Management Plan to avoid or minimise impacts on the environment.

Would any of the options require property acquisition?

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.

Has the acquisition process started?

The acquisition process has not started. After an option has been selected, any acquisition required would be discussed with the respective landowners.

Why have the designs been shown to some members of the community but not been made public until now?

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.

How have potentially impacted landowners been engaged with?

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.

Options shown during the 2018 consultation, did not include acquisition of houses. Why do the options now show acquisition of houses?

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.

Have traffic counts been done and were they considered when developing options?

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.

Would there be large or heavy vehicles travelling on the overpass options?

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.

Next steps

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.

Who can I contact if I have further questions or am unable to attend any of the public consultation sessions

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

6Interim Safety Measures

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.

Leith Overpass Concept Design Draft Consultation Outcomes Report.

Contact details

For further information about the project, please contact the project team on 03 6210 0662 or by email at