This article was originally published via https://www.fullyloaded.com.au/.
A major freight program worth $100 million has begun, with key works underway to increase safety and efficiency for freight operators in Tasmania
The new program will upgrade major freight bridges in Tasmania
The federal government has announced that work has started on a new $100 million program to further improve freight access on Tasmania’s state road network. The Freight Capacity Upgrade Program is a jointly funded initiative, with $80 million committed by the federal government and $20 million by the Tasmanian government. The program will increase the freight capacity of critical and regional freight routes throughout Tasmania by strengthening or replacing various bridges and improving sections of roads. The first stage includes the strengthening of 11 bridges, replacement of two bridges and road improvements at 14 sites. When completed, there will be an additional 224 kilometres of state roads approved for access by Higher Mass Limit vehicles. This will greatly assist freight operators in planning for the future and give them confidence to expand their operations. It will also extend the lifespan of critical and regional freight routes throughout the state, improving access for operators of heavy vehicles and providing benefits for the state’s agriculture, resources and manufacturing industries. Work has already started on several road strengthening projects and tenders closed on March 15, 2023 for the first two bridge strengthening projects: Pipers River Bridge on Bridport Road in the state’s north-east and Ring River Bridge on the Murchison Highway on the west coast. The federal government says an estimated 190 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the program, with an Indigenous employment and supplier-use target of 4.5 per cent.
"The federal government is committed to improving road safety and freight efficiency and this investment will ease congested roads while also creating opportunities for Tasmanians," federal transport minister Catherine King says. "Our funding, by helping continue this successful economic productivity initiative for the next five years, is key ensuring Tasmania’s road network is as safe and as efficient as possible."
Tasmanian transport minister Michael Ferguson says the Freight Capacity Upgrade Program will do more than just ease accessibility for freight operators. "The Freight Capacity Upgrade Program not only enhances the productivity of Tasmanian freight, but also increases efficiency and road safety," Ferguson says. "This investment in Tasmania great news for our community and will back local jobs while also supporting our freight industry."