THE State Government is exploring the cost and design of sealing Wielangta Road.
In June last year, at the height of the drama of the Tasman Highway having to be closed for weeks for safety work, the Government conceded it was time to seal the strategic link between Orford and Kellevie.
The news was greeted with joy from locals and has the potential to extend the popular Great Eastern Drive from St Helens all the way to the Tasman Peninsula.
Infrastructure and Roads Minister Michael Ferguson confirmed recently that his department was doing the necessary initial work required for sealing Wielangta Road.
“This includes discussing a wide range of issues with the different owners of the road, including responsibility for ongoing maintenance, and investigating the best model for the project,’’ Mr Ferguson said.
“Once the investigation work and discussions with the road owners are complete, we will have a clearer picture of the project timeline.”
Meanwhile, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for East and South-East commuters, with confirmation major road works at Sorell, Midway Point and the airport are due to be completed this year.
Having endured significant delays in travel times, motorists can look forward to dual carriageways and a smoother run into Hobart.
Mr Ferguson said works on the Midway Point Intersection Solution and the Sorell Southern Bypass were on track.
“The $350 million South East Traffic Solution between the Australian and Tasmanian Liberal Governments will improve traffic flow and safety on the key transport corridor between Sorell and Hobart,’’ Mr Ferguson said.
“The first stage of the Midway Point project, which includes the realignment of Penna Road to align with Southern Drive and construction of two retaining walls next to the highway, is on track for completion in early 2022.
“The second and final stage, which includes duplication of the highway through Midway Point and installation of traffic signals at a new Tasman Highway/Penna Road intersection, will be completed by mid-2022.
“The 2.1km Sorell Southern Bypass is progressing as planned, with work on schedule to be finished in late 2022.
“The bypass will create a more direct route for through traffic, relieving pressure on Sorell’s town centre and reducing travel times for people travelling between Hobart and the Southern Beaches and Tasman Peninsula.
“As well as building the new road, a bridge over the Sorell Rivulet is in place and work has started on the roundabout that will connect the bypass to the Arthur Highway. Work on the western roundabout, which will connect the bypass to the Tasman Highway, is expected to start in the first half of 2022.’’
The Hobart Airport Interchange is on track for completion in 2022.
“The interchange design features the lifting of the Tasman Highway over Kennedy Drive and Holyman Avenue, with on and off ramps serving the connecting roads,’’ he said.
“An upcoming traffic switch will take place in early 2022, another step towards the completion of this key project.’’
Mr Ferguson said he would soon announce details of the duplications of the causeways.