TASMANIA’S second busiest section of road is now a far smoother, safer and more efficient driving experience following completion of the Brooker Highway junction upgrade at Glenorchy.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the $33.81 million upgrade was already improving the drive for motorists, with better intersections reducing travel times and minimising peak hour bottlenecks.
“These works will ensure the junction can meet future traffic demands from the south,” he said.
“More than 1.6 million tonnes of freight is carried along the Brooker Highway each year, so efficient traffic flow through this section of road is critical to productivity in northern Tasmania.”
Officially opening the new junction upgrade recently were Liberal Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz, Speaker of the House of Assembly and Liberal Member for Denison Elise Archer and local campaigner and Goodwood resident Donna Cowen.
Senator Abetz said after the Tasman Bridge, the Brooker Highway carried the highest volume of traffic in the state, with 35,000 daily users.
“The upgrades were listed as high priority, with the road identified as a key strategic and freight corridor north of Hobart,” he said.
“In just more than a year, we’ve gone from starting construction to the road being open and used by the community.
“This project has also delivered economically for the region, providing 102 direct jobs and more than 600 indirect jobs during construction.”
Ms Archer said the extensive upgrades would improve driving conditions for local motorists and cut down travel times.
“The project included the replacement of the Howard Road roundabout with a new signalised intersection, as well as the realignment of Elwick Road and Goodwood Road to form one intersection,” she said.
“Additional improvements included the relocation of the Timsbury Road access, installation of three through lanes in each direction, signalised pedestrian crossings at each intersection and the installation of a shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists on the side of the highway.
“The pedestrian crossings were particularly important to the local community to allow for pram access and people with disabilities to cross safely.
“I would like to thank the public for their patience while this critical upgrade was carried out and I am pleased to see motorists and pedestrians already reaping the rewards.”
Mrs Cowen said she was just as excited that the upgrades were finally complete.
“It has taken around 20-years to make this area safer for pedestrians and I am so happy because it will mean we won’t have to play chicken with the traffic anymore – this is what we have been fighting for,” she said.
The Australian Government committed $26.71 million and the Tasmanian Government $7.1 million toward the project.
For more information on projects currently underway in Tasmania, visit http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au.
Caption: From left, Speaker of the House of Assembly and Liberal Member for Denison Elise Archer, local campaigner and Goodwood resident Donna Cowen and Liberal Senator for Tasmania Eric Abetz.