Major milestone reached on $786m New Bridgewater Bridge Project in TAS

Monica Gameng   |   July 25, 2022
Artist impression of the new bridge (cr: New Bridgewater Bridge Project)

The $786 million New Bridgewater Bridge Project in Tasmania has reached a new milestone and is ready to begin construction in the coming months. 

Following the appointment of McConnell Dowell as the preferred contractor along with the award of an Early Activities Agreement in late December 2021, the company has now officially signed a Design and Construct contract for the project. 

“We’ve done a significant amount of work over the past two years to get the project to a position where we are ready to start building. 

“We’re now looking forward to working closely with McConnell Dowell to deliver this exciting project that will benefit all Tasmanians,” Department of State Growth Deputy Project Directory Kevin Bourne said. 

The contractor has spent the past six months refining the chosen design for the new Bridgewater Bridge while also preparing to begin works on what will be Tasmania’s largest ever transport infrastructure project to date. 

McConnell Dowell’s chosen design features a new four-lane bridge to be built downstream the existing bridge, enhanced interchanges at both ends of the bridge, and a dedicated shared pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. 

“This is an exciting project for the people of Tasmania, and the McConnell Dowell team. Designing and constructing city-shaping infrastructure that improves people’s lives is the essence of our business. This project is a fantastic example of that. 

“We look forward to working with the Tasmanian Government, local industry and the community to complete the missing link in the state’s national highway; and improve the safety, amenity and connectivity of the local area,” McConnell Dowell CEO Scott Cummins said. 

fullwidth-1200w (2)Artist impression (source: New Bridgewater Bridge Project)

The current construction plans for the project are the result of extensive design work, planning as well as community engagement in finding the best solution that will meet the long-term needs of the community. 

The new bridge will fill the missing link in the State’s National Highway network, and it will also improve connections at Bridgewater and Granton. 

Once complete, the project will help remove the notorious bottleneck at the Granton roundabout while also providing the thousands of vehicles that use the bridge daily with free-flowing access to the Brooker Highway, Lyell Highway and Midland Highway. 

The multi-million-dollar project will also include constructing a new ramp from Boyer Road onto the bridge for easier access for local traffic that want to travel south. On the other hand, Gunn Street is going to link with Old Main Road under the new bridge to create a continuous connection with more open space. 

A dedicated slip lane from the Brooker Highway onto the Lyell Highway is also going to be built on the southern side of the river to provide an uninterrupted journey from Hobart to New Norfolk. 

This major infrastructure project will focus on creating jobs as well as supporting Tasmanian industry by engaging with several Tasmanian organisations to assist with project delivery. 

The New Bridgewater Bridge Project is anticipated to create more than 200 new jobs for Tasmanians alongside the upskilling of local workers. Over its life, the project will support over 800 direct and indirect jobs. 

Major construction on the New Bridgewater Bridge Project is due to begin later this year, with the new crossing opening to traffic by the end of 2024. 

fullwidth-1200w (3)Artist impression (source: New Bridgewater Bridge Project)

A set of design requirements was agreed upon by the Tasmanian Government in mid-2020. These requirements have to be incorporated into the design of the new bridge, and the design developed by McConnell Dowell meets all the requirements. 

The design requirements are: 

  • A new river crossing between the Brooker Highway and Midland Highway, including connections to the Lyell Highway 
  • A minimum design speed of 80km/h 
  • Two lanes in each direction 
  • Grade separation of the Lyell Highway Junction at Granton and Black Snake Lane at Granton 
  • A minimum airdraft clearance consistent with the navigable clearance under the Bowen Bridge 
  • A shared path for pedestrians and cyclists 
  • Throw screens and safety barriers 
  • A design that doesn’t preclude the future use of the existing rail corridor 

Source: McConnell Dowell; Tasmanian Government – New Bridgewater Bridge Project (1, 2); Roads & Infrastructure Australia 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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