I welcome the submission of the Bridgewater Bridge business case to Infrastructure Australia as a key milestone under Infrastructure Tasmania’s work program.
The submission details a compelling case for a new, four-lane, highway-speed link between the Brooker Highway and Midland Highway across the Derwent.
The former Labor-Green Government did nothing to progress this much-needed infrastructure, despite repeated failures of the lifting mechanism and the 60kph restriction placed on all freight and commuter traffic travelling over Tasmania’s key north-south link.
The Hodgman Government inherited a bridge that is non-compliant under national heavy vehicle reforms and which disadvantages residents of the Brighton municipality in terms of commute times.
Infrastructure Australia has already accepted the Bridgewater Bridge as a national infrastructure priority. The Derwent Crossing Business Case is now subject to detailed cost/benefit analysis by Infrastructure Australia, which will make a recommendation to the Australian Government on funding.
I expect the new Bridgewater Bridge, which was costed in the business case at $576 million in 2016 dollar terms, to form the centrepiece of the next Commonwealth-State infrastructure agreement, which will commence in mid-2019.
The submission of the Bridgewater Bridge business case was a significant milestone as part of Infrastructure Tasmania’s 2017/18 Priority Work Program, which includes projects across water and sewerage, rail, Bass Strait Island shipping, public transport, the TT-Line vessel replacement program and road transport.
Bizarrely, Labor has threatened to axe Infrastructure Tasmania, despite the agency playing a key role in the delivery of the Hodgman Government’s huge infrastructure-building program, valued at $2 billion over the Budget and forward estimates.
The Infrastructure Tasmania 2017/18 Priority Work Program is available at: https://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/165300/Infrastructure_Tas_Priority_Work_Program_2017-18.pdf