Huon Highway Grove Right Turn Lane
The Department of State Growth is improving safety on the Huon Highway along the Grove straight, near the Willie Smith’s Apple Shed (Apple Shed). The southbound lane towards Huonville will be widened for approximately 300 metres, to make room for a dedicated lane for vehicles turning right into the Apple Shed. A small pull-off area for vehicles turning left into the Apple Shed will also be sealed.
Project update – 12 June 2019
Safety improvement works were finished in early June. A new safety barrier was installed along this section of the highway. Since its installation, the Department has reconsidered the design and acknowledges this barrier creates a squeeze point for cyclists.
The barrier will be removed and the road shoulder sealed to be consistent with the rest of this section of highway. We are working with our contractor to schedule this work and it will begin as soon as practicable, weather permitting.
During roadworks there will be some temporary traffic changes to ensure the safety of workers and road users. Lane closures and a reduced speed limit will be in place and will affect travel times. Road users should allow up to ten minutes extra travel time during this work.
Please keep to speed limits and follow the directions of traffic controllers and signs.
About the project
Why is the Department of State Growth doing work on this road?
The Tasmanian Government made an election commitment of $1.5 million for Huon Highway Priority Safety Upgrades.
Before the 2014 State Election, the Huon Valley Council identified in its State Election Strategy a number of locations on the Huon Highway for safety upgrades including:
- Mountain River Road (Grove shop)
- Willie Smith’s Apple Shed
- Reid Fruits
- Hansen Orchards
- The Honey Pot
- Kate Hill Wines
Of the locations identified by Council, the Apple Shed access has the highest crash history over a five year period. For this reason, the Apple Shed access has been given the highest priority for funding. During a five year period, there were four reported crashes where vehicles waiting to turn right into the Apple Shed were struck from behind.
The Huon Highway has experienced growth, with Huonville and the wider Huon Valley attracting tourists and commuters alike. The Apple Shed is a popular visitor destination and has experienced an increase in the number of visitors each year.
The project will improve safety for all road users at this section of the highway by providing a dedicated lane for right-turning vehicles, while allowing traffic to be able to safely travel past those waiting vehicles.
Environment and landscaping
There was a row of poplar trees on the southern side of the highway that have been removed. Advice from a tree specialist indicated that a number of the poplar trees were mature, in poor health and nearing the end of their lifespan, and that the required construction would damage the roots of the row of trees, further impacting their health and remaining lifespan.
The decision to remove the trees was based on this specialist advice, and the increased risk to road users from trees falling or dropping limbs.
A number of design options were considered, but none allowed for the trees to be retained while ensuring the safety of drivers on the highway.
New tree planting
The Department acknowledges that these trees have community significance and will provide replacement poplars on a neighbouring landowner’s property.
The new trees will be planted during autumn, to give them the best opportunity to thrive. They will be planted further away from the road to avoid risk to road users, in a location that provides options for any future highway expansion.
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For any construction enquiries please contact Camille O’Meara at Stornoway, on 0417 477 454.
For information about the project please contact the Project Management Team Leader, Sven Meyer, on (03) 6166 3419 or by email at: email@example.com
Updated: 12 Jun 2019