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The project involves upgrading about 15 kilometres of the Tasman Highway between Corkerys Road intersection (500 metres north west of the Sideling Lookout) and Minstone Road, Scottsdale.

It will improve safety and the current road alignment by widening of highway curves, widening the road and sealing the road shoulders.

1About the project

This $50 million-upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmania Governments

This project will improve:

  • travel time reliability for commercial operators and the travelling public between Bridport, Scottsdale and Launceston.
  • safety for heavy vehicles and general road users by providing wider lanes and sealed shoulders.
  • road alignments by widening corners.
  • the driving experience and access for local road users, freight operators and tourists.

2Community consultation

Community consultation for the Tasman Highway Sideling Road Upgrade Project is now closed.

The plans for the project were able to be viewed online until  from Wednesday, 8 September to Wednesday, 22 September 2021. Feedback forms and boxes were also available for comment.

3Background

The Tasman Highway connects the major cities of Hobart and Launceston via the north-eastern and eastern coasts of Tasmania. The highway passes over difficult terrain between Scottsdale and Launceston, winding through the Sideling Range. It has many tight curves that do not meet today's safety standards and guidelines for heavy vehicles.

This upgrade will result in this portion of the highway meeting today's safety standards and guidelines.

4Location

The project area is shown below.

The project will be delivered in two stages;

  • Stage 1, Section 1 is 4.55 km, and starts from the intersection of the Tasman Highway and the access road (550 metres south-east of the Scottsdale Lookout) to the intersection of the Tasman Highway and Whish-Wilson Road.
  • Stage 1, Section 2 is 10.61 km and starts from the intersection of Whish-Wilson Road to the intersection of Minstone Road.

5Design

The Project will be delivered in two stages:

  • Stage 1, Section 1 (4.55 km) is from the intersection of the Tasman Highway and an access road 550 m south-east of the Scottsdale Lookout to the intersection of the Tasman Highway and Whish-Wilson Road.
  • Stage 1, Section 2 (10.61 km) is from the intersection of Whish-Wilson Road to the intersection of Minstone Road.

Click on the images below to view them at full size.

Stage 1 Section 1

Stage 2 Section 2

6Timing

The design for the Tasman Highway Sideling Road Upgrade Project is underway.

The expected timing for each stage is below.

Stage 1, Section 1:

Surveys and investigations: July - August 2021

Public consultation: 8 September 2021 - 22 September 2021

Tender advertised: October 2021

Construction start: late 2022

Construction completion: 2024

Stage 1, Section 2:

Surveys and investigations: February - March 2022

Public consultation: Mid-2022

Tender advertised: mid to late 2022

Construction start: late 2022

Construction completion: mid 2024

We will update road users and the community about the approach for construction. You can also register for updates by emailing engagement@pittsh.com.au or follow the RoadsTas Facebook page for the latest information.

7Frequently Asked Questions

Has a contract for construction been awarded?

No. Contract negotiation is still ongoing for Section 1. The tender release date for Section 2 has not yet been determined.

When will construction start?

Construction for Section 1 is expected to commence early 2022. Section 2 is expected to commence construction late 2022.

Will the road pavement be replaced and re-laid?

Yes. Design of Section 1 has confirmed that the existing road pavement will be reclaimed and reused onsite as part of a new road base. The road pavement will then be re-laid and sealed.

The road design for Section 2 has not yet started.

What investigations have been undertaken to ensure the road pavement does not fail and pothole?

Extensive surveys and geotechnical investigations have been conducted to better inform design for improved drainage and more durable road conditions as part of the upgrade.

This has included, but is not limited to, deflectograph testing of present road durability, potholing and sample testing of existing road foundations, and consideration of key points of failure and potholing within the existing road surface.

Significant improvements have also been made in road design and construction in recent decades and all elements of the road upgrade are required to meet modern Australian standards in design and construction.

Will the road shoulders and drains be sealed?

Yes. As part of the road widening, road shoulders will be upgraded and sealed with bitumen. Where required some sections of the road drainage will be sealed.

Will the alignment of the road change?

The road upgrade follows the original alignment of the Tasman Highway. This existing alignment will be widened and the shoulders sealed.

Will the road be closed during construction?

A Traffic Management Plan will be developed by the successful Contractor and approved by the Department of State Growth. This plan will carefully consider the management of any required traffic changes through the construction period, including whether road closures are required.

Will there be passing bays included as part of the upgrade?

We are looking to provide opportunities for additional safe passing options as part of the design process. Options are limited however by the local terrain and existing alignment of the highway.

Will there be land acquisitions required as part of the upgrade?

Any land acquisitions will be limited to the area required to widen and improve grades along the road shoulder to meet safety standards. Individual property owners will be approached directly as part of the development of the detailed design for the project.

How will the environment be considered?

Consideration of the environment is central to the Department of State Growth's planning process.

All State roads and infrastructure projects are subject to a:

  • Natural Values Assessment to identify significant flora, fauna, vegetation communities and weeds which will require management prior to and during the works.
  • Heritage Impact Assessment to determine the presence of significant heritage values and the likelihood of disturbance.

Where possible significant ecological or heritage values are avoided and impacts minimised through appropriate management strategies. Where required, impacts are assessed against the relevant biodiversity protection code in the local planning scheme as part of the development application process.

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

State Growth requires all contractors to prepare a Construction Quality Plan that includes an Environmental Management Plan (EMP), demonstrating compliance with best practice guidelines and relevant legislation and regulation.

The EMP must be compliant with State Growth's Road Construction Specifications. EMP's are reviewed and approved prior to commencement of works to ensure the contractor has effectively identified, ascribed and accounted for construction related environmental risks, and has necessary systems and processes in place to effectively mitigate risk and respond to and report environmental incidents and emergency scenarios.

When will the remainder of the Tasman Highway between Scottsdale and Launceston be upgraded?

Funding has been committed for investigation work to upgrade the road between St Patricks River Bridge and the end of Section 1. Investigation work has not yet started.

Who can I contact if I cannot attend the public consultation?

If you would like to get in touch with our team, or cannot make the public consultation, we would still like to hear from you and work with you so that your feedback is provided to the project team for their consideration.

Email: engagement@pittsh.com.au

Phone: 0482 166 434

Contact

For further information about the project, please contact the Engagement Consultant, Stephanie Lawson, on 0482 166 434 or email engagement@pittsh.com.au.