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We have investigated options to improve access when entering the Bass Highway at Leith from intersections at Short Street and Braddons Lookout Road.

What’s happened to get to this point?

In 2021, two overpass options were presented to the community. An overpass solution was proposed as it would improve safety, while maintaining efficiency on the Bass Highway compared to other design solutions.

In 2022, the Tasmanian Government responded to community feedback and further engineering advice and will instead pursue junction upgrades to improve access to the highway from Braddons Lookout Road and Short Street.

We will continue to monitor traffic conditions and safety.

Construction is expected to start in late 2022.

We thank you for your participation in this process and your continued interest in the project.

Click on the image below to view the Bass Highway - Leith Intersection Upgrades concept design in full size.

Bass Highway - Leith Intersection Upgrades - Concept Design

1Frequently Asked Questions

What is the intersection upgrade project?

This project will improve access to Short Street and Braddons Lookout Road from the Bass Highway at Leith, to align with contemporary road standards.

What does this involve?

The junction upgrades will include:

  • chevron line marking to separate turning traffic (turning left into Braddons Lookout Road or Short Street) from Bass Highway traffic
  • median island to separate right turning traffic into and out of Braddons Lookout Road or Short Street, from Bass Highway traffic
  • minor widening of the highway at the junctions, to accommodate the chevron line-marking and installation of median island
  • lighting of junctions.

What will the designs look like?

The designs will be in line with contemporary road standards.

Click to view the Bass Highway - Leith Intersection Upgrades concept design in full size.

How will I use the junctions after the upgrade?

The left turn lane from the highway, into Braddons Lookout Road and Short Street will remain.
The design will introduce additional separation (chevron line-marking) between the left turning lane and through traffic.
This will the improve sight lines for those turning right out of the junction, to vehicles travelling along the highway.

A median island will be installed opposite Braddons Lookout Road and Short Street, between the right turn lane and through lane. It will extend along the highway, between the through lane and acceleration lane currently used by vehicles turning right from the side roads.
This will separate turning traffic from through traffic.
The design will allow motorists to merge onto the highway, in the same location as they do currently.

Will the upgrades require land acquisition or have impacts on private property?

No. This project will utilise land within the road reserve. No land acquisition or embankment works on private property will be required.

How has the project progressed to this point?

This project was initiated by members of the Leith community concerned about the safety of vehicles turning right on to and off the Bass Highway from Short Street and Braddons Lookout Road.

In 2018, an overpass was proposed as it would improve safety, will maintaining efficiency on the Bass Highway compared to other design solutions. Three overpass arrangements were developed and presented to the community. Feedback indicated that the community did not support traffic diverting through Leith.

The overpass concept design was then revised to include on / off ramps. Alternative options were also developed and considered, including a speed limit reduction, construction of a roundabout, existing junction upgrades and right turn ban.

Click to view the 2018 Consultation Feedback Report.

In 2021, two overpass options were presented to the community – an overpass between Leith Road and Bridge Street, with and without ramps. Feedback received during consultation determined that an overpass did not have community support.

Click to view the 2021 Consultation Feedback Report.

In January 2022, based on the feedback received from community members and further engineering advice, at-grade junction upgrades will be implemented with ongoing safety monitoring.

Has anything been done to improve traffic issues in the meantime?

In late 2017, immediate 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.

Why was this design solution selected?

A wide variety of options were considered to improve safety on the Bass Highway at Leith. This included a speed limit reduction, construction of a roundabout (at Braddons Lookout Road or Short Street) and construction of an overpass (in a variety of locations around Leith)

The junction upgrade option was found to be the best solution after considering factors such as impact to the highway network, cost, practicality, impacts to local amenity and community support.

Why not reduce the speed limit reduction?

A speed limit reduction would contribute to vehicle congestion and make entering and exiting the highway more difficult, while providing only limited safety benefits.

Reducing the speed limit would have a negative impact on the movement of freight vehicles along the Bass Highway.

Why not construct a roundabout at Braddons Lookout Road?

A roundabout at Braddons Lookout Road would require extensive land and property acquisition and earthworks to accommodate a fit for purpose design. There would also be noise and safety impacts in building a roundabout at the base of a hill, with a bridge and rail corridor to accommodate.

Will there be any impact on the existing pedestrian underpass?

The existing pedestrian underpass near Short Street, will be retained and extended to accommodate the road widening.

Will there be any noise impacts after the upgrade?

It is not expected that there will be additional noise impacts following the junction upgrades.

Is this the final design?

No. A concept design has been prepared. Further investigation work including test pitting will be done to further inform the design process.

Any community feedback received on the concept design will also be considered during the design development process.

Minor changes to the design can be expected as the design progresses.

When will this work occur?

Construction  is expected to start in late 2022.

Has a contract for construction been awarded?

No.  A contract has not been tendered or awarded. This is expected to occur in mid-late 2022.

How will construction activities affect you?

There will be road works that may result in some traffic delays due to lane closures and reduced speed limits during construction. More details will be provided closer to the start of construction.

Who can I contact if I have further questions or would like to provide feedback?

If you would like to get in touch, you can contact the project team on 6210 0662 or email leithproject@ghd.com.

2History

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. 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.

Contact details

For further information about the project, please contact the project team on 03 6210 0662 or by email at leithproject@ghd.com