Planning for a future eastern bypass of Launceston will kick off this year as part of the Federal Labor Government’s unprecedented $1.9 billion investment in Tasmania’s road and rail infrastructure.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Local MP Geoff Lyons announced $2 million for essential planning work.
“First foreshadowed in last month’s Federal Budget, the initial planning work will identify a preferred route as well as establish accurate costings and a realistic construction timetable,” Mr Albanese said.
“This new piece of infrastructure has the potential to be a game changer for Launceston, taking hundreds of trucks a day of the City’s local streets and making it an even better place to live, work and raise a family. That’s why we’re determined to get the planning right.”
Mr Lyons said this funding would be welcomed by the community.
“Over the past decade there has been a 43 per cent increase in the number of trucks driving through the CBD, particularly along Wellington and Bathurst streets,” said Mr Lyons.
“This will get trucks off our local streets and make it safer for everyone who uses our roads.”
The planning money for the Launceston Bypass is part of Federal Labor’s $500 million, ten-year Midland Highway Package, which also includes the duplication of the Perth to Breadalbane section, planning and initial construction on the Bridgewater Bridge as well as safety upgrades at Mona Vale, St Peters Pass and between Mangalore and Bagdad.
The 2013 Federal Budget also committed funding to a range of other priority projects, which will be delivered over the five year life of our next Nation Building Program (2014–15 to 2018–19)—see attached map.
Freight Rail Revitalisation: Further improvements as part of the most extensive upgrade of the network in generations, including the replacement of approximately 290 kilometres of old track.
– Federal contribution: $119.6 million.
Brooker Highway: Address congestion and access issues at the intersections with Goodwood and Elwick Roads as well as replace the existing Howard Road roundabout with traffic lights.
– Federal contribution: $25.6 million.
Domain Highway: Planning and development of design options to ease congestion and improve traffic flow through the Domain Highway and Brooker Highway Interchange.
– Federal contribution: $4 million.
Huon Highway: Upgrade the Huon Highway and Summerleas Road intersection by raising the former along its existing alignment and lowering the later pass beneath it.
– Federal contribution: $17.5 million.
Tasman Highway: Install new on and off ramps at the intersection between the Tasman and East Derwent highways.
– Federal contribution: $13 million.
“That’s real money for real projects that will make a real difference,” said Mr Albanese.
“From the outset Federal Labor’s mission has been to reverse the neglect we inherited and build the modern, well-planned transport infrastructure which makes working people’s lives easier, our businesses more competitive and the national economy stronger.
“Across Tasmania we are continuing to do precisely that. After all, Labor is the party of nation building infrastructure.