The Morrison Government will commit a further $40 million to improving road safety and traffic congestion on the Bass Highway between Cooee and Wynyard.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said people were sick of sitting in traffic and these local, practical measures would help people get home sooner and safer.
“By managing money and running a strong economy, we are able to invest record funding in road projects which 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 while ensuring the future safety of the Cam River Bridge.
“This funding will help North-West Tasmanians gets home sooner and safer.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack said the Coalition Government had previously funded a $500,000 planning study in response to community concerns about increased travel time and crashes during peak times.
“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 which bust the congestion being experienced by commuters and to guarantee the future safety of the Cam River Bridge.
“In partnership with the Hodgman Government we will implement these improvements to fix the ‘Cooee Crawl’ and deliver relief to motorists who have experienced the growth in congestion on the Highway.”
Tasmanian Infrastructure Minister Jeremy Rockliff has welcomed the Morrison Government’s new funding commitment.
“The Study provides a corridor strategy to deliver these 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.
“Thanks to the Liberals’ strong economic management, we have seen development in our region and the expansion in the dairy, beef and other agricultural industries.
“This has also brought with it more heavy vehicles on the Highway and the Study has recognised the need for changes and upgrades, so this funding is vital to keep traffic moving.
“Our next step will be to fully brief the two key local councils, Burnie City and Waratah-Wynyard on the Report’s findings and to develop a program to work collaboratively with them to implement the corridor improvements.”
The $40 million investment in the Bass Highway is in addition to the $60 million investment that the Morrison Government has made to the stretch of highway between Wynyard and Marrawah.
In total, the Morrison Government has committed more than $110 million into the Bass Highway.