THE State Government has pushed back the date that the new Bridgewater Bridge will be open for road traffic after initially saying it would be partially open next year. Instead of opening the bridge to one lane of traffic in each direction at reduced speed by the end of 2024, the new plan is to open all four lanes in mid-2025.
Deputy premier and minister for infrastructure and transport, Michael Ferguson, said the $786 million new Bridgewater Bridge was taking shape beautifully. “From next week, major traffic changes will take place in Granton so construction can progress safely,” he said.
A new temporary roundabout will be in place on the Brooker Highway and all through traffic will switch onto the newly built section of the Lyell Highway. A section of Black Snake Rd will be closed and Main Rd traffic will be temporarily directed along George St, Granton, for about three months to travel north or south on the Brooker Hwy.
There will be safe pedestrian access and access to properties across the project site at all times. Early in the new year, all Midland Highway northbound traffic in Bridgewater will be diverted along Old Main Rd, while southbound traffic will remain on the existing highway. Drivers travelling through the area are asked to always follow posted speed limits, watch out for workers and obey any instructions given by traffic controllers.
Mr Ferguson said major construction had gained momentum after the completion of the temporary bridge which is allowing work to continue without unduly affecting road traffic. “The original construction schedule remains on time to be completed in mid-2025,” Mr Ferguson said.
“While opening the bridge to one lane of traffic in each direction at 60km/h by the end of 2024 was the initial target, I am advised by project management that they can complete the job more efficiently, with less risk to worker safety and open to all four lanes of traffic at 80km/h within the overall due date,” he said.
“Maximising local industry participation in the project has been a priority, but this has meant it has taken longer than expected to ramp up to peak production. Planning work started back in 2019, so to finish this project within months of the forecast date will be a significant achievement considering the challenges across the building and construction industry.”
Mr Ferguson said he had visited the Bridgewater Bridge project site last week and was “thoroughly impressed” with the rate at which the new bridge is taking shape. “Anyone who has driven through the area recently would have seen the hive of activity taking place across the project site,” he said.
“From the crews working non-stop to produce more than 1000 concrete bridge segments, to the teams making sure people can travel safely through the site, everyone is working hard to get this project finished. Across the project site, 14 of the 42 bridge piers have been poured and more than 190,000 cubic metres of earth moved.
“Crews are working hard to complete both bridge abutments, with all land piers completed and segments being lifted into place. Works are continuing to ramp-up at the project’s purpose-built pre-cast concrete production facility with 97 of the 1082 concrete bridge segments complete and being delivered to site. At peak production the facility will produce up to five segments each day and employ about 90 people.”
Mr Ferguson said the new Bridgewater Bridge project was supporting more than 1000 direct and indirect jobs as well as providing Tasmanian workers with new skills. For more information about the upcoming traffic changes at Granton, or to view the latest flythrough footage of the project, visit http://bridgewaterbridge.tas.gov.au
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