Aug 13, 2008

Rudd Government Delivers $4.5 Million to get an Early Start on Constitution Hill

Rudd Government Delivers $4.5 Million to get an Early Start on Constitution Hill and Midland Highway Safety Upgrades

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 13 2008

The Rudd Labor Government has today approved $4.5 million in funding to get an early start on improving safety for local motorists on the Midland Highway, including upgrading the notorious Constitution Hill between Bagdad and Dysart in Tasmania.

The $4.5 million in funding will contribute to two crucial safety upgrade projects along the Midland Highway. They are:

  • Widening the Highway at Constitution Hill and providing a 1.6 metre wide painted median with wire rope safety barrier over 2.54 kilometres to separate opposing streams of traffic; and
  • Installing new centre and side lines (audible, tactile lines) along 140 kilometres of the Highway between Breadalbane, south of Launceston and Pontville to the south of Bagdad. Upon completion, motorists should be able to hear if they veer off the road or on to the wrong side of the road.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese was in Tasmania today to announce the funding, which has been brought forward from the 2009-10 financial year by the Rudd Government.

Mr Albanese said, "There’s no question that these upgrades to the Midland Highway are needed to help make the highway safer for motorists and their families.

"That’s why we have brought the money forward to get these important projects started as soon as possible.

"Today’s $4.5 million announcement builds on Federal Labor’s commitment to deliver a massive $426 million Tasmanian infrastructure over the next five years – more than two and a half times what the former government provided in the last five years."

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure, Graeme Sturges, welcomed the announcement and said that the balance of the total $5.6 million cost will be met through the Tasmanian Motor Accidents Insurance Board and the Tasmanian Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources.

"The Constitution Hill upgrades will help to limit conflict areas for turning traffic and play an important role in minimising crashes at this section of the Highway," Mr Sturges said.

The Constitution Hill upgrades respond directly to a recommendation of the Tasmanian Coroner following an accident in May 2006 that claimed four young lives," he said.

Dick Adams, Federal Member for Lyons, said, "I have spoken to the Federal Minister and he understands the importance of these projects. I am really pleased that the Rudd Government is delivering this funding.

"The Midland Highway is particularly difficult stretch of road during winter because of ice and fog, and safety is our number one priority."

Tenders for the Constitution Hill component of the upgrade will be called shortly by the Tasmanian Government with the majority of the work expected to be completed by May 2009. Final seal and line marking is expected to be completed in the summer months of 2009.

Tenders for the installation of the audible tactile line marking are also expected to be called shortly with the works completed by May 2009.