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The project involves upgrading about 24 kilometres of the Tasman Highway from just south of St Patricks River to Minstone Road, Scottsdale.

We will improve safety and the current road alignment by widening the road, sealing the road shoulders and providing passing opportunities.

This $120 million-upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmania Governments.

Reopening of the Sideling

The Sideling, which was damaged in the extreme rain event that hit north-east Tasmania in October 2022 and closed by Tasmania Police to keep road users safe, has been restored.

The Sideling opened on Monday, 27 February 2023 to all vehicles except articulated heavy vehicles.

About the project

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.

Click play below to see a video update on the Sideling.

The project will be delivered in two stages: stage 1 will be delivered in two sections.

Stage 1 – Section 1: From just south of the Sideling lookout (Corkerys Road) to Whish-Wilson Road, Springfield
Stage 1 – Section 2: Between Whish-Wilson Road, Springfield and Minstone Road, Scottsdale

Stage 2: From just south of the Sideling lookout to just south of St. Patricks Bridge.

We started working on Stage 1, Section 1 of the project on Monday, August 22, 2022. We will be working on a 4.5 km section of the Tasman Highway from Corkerys Road to Whish-Wilson Road, Springfield.

We will be working from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday to Saturday, and will be finished in May 2024.

Designs are currently underway for Stage 1, Section 2, and the design for Stage 2 started in late 2022.

1Background

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.

2Location

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.

3Design

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

4Timing

Stage 1, Section 1

  • Surveys and investigations: July - August 2021
  • Public consultation: 8 September 2021 - 22 September 2021
  • Tender advertised: October 2021
  • Work started: Monday, 22 August 2022
  • Work completed: 2024

Stage 1, Section 2

  • Surveys and investigations: February 2022 and again in late 2023.
  • Public consultation: March/April 2024 and August – September 2022
  • Tender advertised: late 2024
  • Construction start: early 2025
  • Construction completion: mid 2026

We will update road users and the community about the approach for construction.

Stage 2

  • Designs started in late 2022.

5Traffic changes

During construction there will be lane closures and delays. One lane will always remain open for most vehicles, however, the road will be closed to all articulated heavy vehicles (class 6 vehicles and above), at all times, including outside work hours.

We will be working between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Saturday and should be finished in May 2024, weather permitting.

We will let you know in advance if we need to do any work outside these times.

Traffic management will be in place to ensure the safety of workers and road users and will be designed to minimise impacts on traffic.
Speed limits through the project site will be reduced to 40 km/h during working hours.

Motorists should allow up to 15 minutes extra travel time during this work. You may wish to use an alternate route. Please keep to speed limits and follow the directions of traffic controllers and signs.

6Frequently Asked Questions

Has a contract for construction been awarded?

The contract for Stage 1 – Section 1 was awarded to Fulton Hogan Construction in May 2022.

When did construction start?

Construction started in August 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.

What investigations have been done 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 methods like deflectograph testing. This tests the current road's durability, potholing and foundations. We also investigated 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?

Land acquisitions for Stage 1 – Section 1 are now complete. Any land acquisitions for subsequent work 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.
  • a 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 careful 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?

The department 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 the department's Road Construction Specifications. EMPs are reviewed and approved prior to start of works to make sure 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, we would like to hear from you to ensure your feedback is provided to the project team for their consideration.

Please email engagement@pittsh.com.au or phone: 0482 166 434.

Accessibility

If you would like to find out more information and you have accessibility requirements, please contact the project engagement consultant on the details below.

You can find out more about Transport Services' commitment to accessibility on our website here: https://www.transport.tas.gov.au/accessibility

Contact

For further information about the current roadworks being undertaken as part of Stage 1, Section 1, please contact our Stakeholder Engagement Consultant, Lucy Bennett on 0408 074 592 or email lucy@venturercommunications.com