The Liberal Party has announced a $40 million commitment to improving road safety and traffic congestion on the Bass Highway between Cooee and Wynyard.
The announcement follows the release of a study examining congestion on the highway.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said if elected, the Federal Liberal Government would partner with the Tasmanian State Government to deliver infrastructure upgrades for the highway.
“By managing money and running a strong economy, we are able to invest record funding in road projects that improve the lives of so many Tasmanians in the North-West,” Mr. Morrison said.
“We want to end the ‘Cooee Crawl’ by adding new overtaking lanes, upgrading key sections of the Bass Highway and ensuring the future safety of the Cam River Bridge.”
Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack said the federal government had funded a $500,000 planning study in response to community concerns about increased travel time and crashes on the highway.
“The Bass Highway between Cooee and Wynyard serves as an important freight route, carrying heavy vehicles to and from the Circular Head Municipality, the West Coast, the Port of Burnie and beyond,” Mr. McCormack said.
“We will provide $40 million to fund improvements identified in the study.”
Tasmanian Infrastructure Minister Jeremy Rockliff said he welcomes the new funding commitment.
“The study provides a corridor strategy to deliver much-needed improvements, including better traffic signalisation, new overtaking lanes and junction and bridge upgrades to make the Highway safer and to reduce travel times,” Mr. Rockliff said.
Mr. Rockliff said the two key local councils, Burnie City and Waratah-Wynyard, would be fully briefed on the study’s findings.
“We will develop a program to work collaboratively with them to implement the corridor improvements,” Mr. Rockliff said.
The latest Bass Highway investment comes in addition to a $60 million investment in a stretch the highway between Wynyard and Marrawah.
“In total, the Morrison Government has committed more than $110 million to the Bass Highway,” Mr. Rockliff said.