Receipt of the planning approval paves the way for work to start in the second half of this year on the US$550 million new Bridgewater Bridge. The project remains on track to execute a design and construct deed with contractor McConnell Dowell by mid-year ahead of the start of major construction (link opens in new tab).
The bridge, which is funded by the federal and Tasmanian governments, will be constructed over the next three years and will see a new four-lane bridge built downstream of the existing Bridgewater Bridge.
The new crossing will fix a missing link between the Brooker Highway and Midland Highway, reducing congestion and providing more reliable travel times for the more than 22,000 people that use the existing bridge every day.
“This construction will support around 830 jobs, including the creation of more than 200 new jobs for Tasmanians,” said federal assistant minister for industry development and Liberal senator for Tasmania Jonno Duniam.
The coordinated assessment of the project was undertaken by an independent expert panel appointed by the Tasmanian Planning Commission with expertise provided by relevant statutory regulators including the Environmental Protection Authority, Heritage Tasmania and TasWater. The Tasmanian government said that community feedback received throughout the process has been integral in shaping the project, and that it will continue to work closely with the community as the project moves towards the construction phase.
The new bridge is due to open to traffic by the end of 2024, with the overall project completed - including two new highway interchanges and the demolition of the existing bridge - in mid-2025.