Delivering upgrades for Great Eastern Drive

Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Infrastructure

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s 2019-20 State Budget delivers a record $1.6 billion in partnership with the Morrison Federal Liberal Government, to build the job-creating transport infrastructure our growing state needs.

It provides $58 million dollars to continue delivering our election policy commitments under our Roads to Support Tasmania’s Visitor Economy program.

The Great Eastern Drive is a 176 kilometre long section of the Tasman Highway that extends from Orford to St Helens on Tasmania’s East Coast.

It has grown in popularity as a tourist route and our investment in its upgrade will enhance the experience for visitors as well as improve safety for all road users, including locals.

Work on the Great Eastern Drive is being undertaken over a number of stages, with Stage 1 projects now complete, and the tender for Stage 2 works will be advertised this Saturday, 1 June.

We have invested approximately $3.7 million in the Stage 1 improvements, which began in late 2018, and include:

  • Installation of a northbound overtaking lane at Cranbrook (north of Glen Gala Road).
  • Four junction upgrades in the Beaumaris Beach area to:
    • Beaumaris Beach
    • Dark Hollow Creek
    • Freshwater Street
    • Skyline Drive.
  • Improvements to the pull over area at Four Mile Creek.

Stage 2 works include making the Coles Bay Junction safer and installing dedicated right turn lanes at Basin Creek and Flagstaff Road.

We have allocated $2.5 million to the Stage 2 projects, and work will start on them later this year.

There are also a range of future improvements planned for the Great Eastern Drive.

  • Road widening and safety treatments at entries to popular tourism experiences, including wineries and cellar doors.
  • Road improvements and overtaking facilities between St Helens to Dianas Basin.
  • Extension of the Great Eastern Drive to Binalong Bay Road, including upgrades to the road.

In developing our Roads to Support Tasmania’s Visitor Economy policy, we listened to feedback from local communities as well as stakeholders like the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania and the RACT, who had been strongly advocating for specific investment in this sort of infrastructure.

It is the first-ever dedicated investment for visitor road infrastructure in this state.

This is part of our commitment to ensuring Tasmania’s reputation as a premium destination is protected, for locals and visitors alike.

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