|The 2016 design for the new crossing at Bridgewater, alongside|
the existing bridge.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian and Tasmanian Governments were committed to delivering a new bridge.
“A new bridge will be much safer than the existing steel bridge linking the Brooker and Midland highways, which is approaching the end of its useful life,” Mr McCormack said.
“The replacement is part of the Hobart City Deal, through which the Australian and Tasmanian Governments are investing more than $890 million to help bust congestion and improve transport across Greater Hobart.”
Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said the new crossing would improve transport and freight access, supporting growth and commercial development in Hobart’s outer northern suburbs and beyond. This point is disputed by the Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group which says the failure to maintain a rail river crossing is a major shortcoming.
The Department of State Growth last week advertised for a consultant to support the "scoping and development" of the Bridgewater Bridge project. These works are likely to involve drilling boreholes to significant depths from a barge or similar, in several locations involving either deep water or shallow water/soft sediments.
“The new Bridgewater Bridge will represent the biggest single transport infrastructure project undertaken in Tasmania in a generation and it will future-proof a critical part of the transport and freight link between the northern and southern regions of the state,” Mr Ferguson said.
"We need to deal with the weak link between our improved Midland Hwy and the capital city. This bridge will benefit all Tasmanians, not only southerners. We are getting on with the job of delivering the Bridgewater Bridge, which was an election commitment, fully funded by both the Tasmanian and Commonwealth Governments, and geotechnical investigations will begin in early 2020.”
The Federal Coalition Government has committed $461 million to the project and the Tasmanian Government has allocated $115 million. The bridge is currently expected to be completed in 2024.
The Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group says failing to include rail in the new bridge design is poor value for taxpayers and says the State Government only appears enthusiastic about rail in Hobart in the lead-up to elections.