Contract signed for Tasmania’s largest ever transport infrastructure project

The New Bridgewater Bridge will carry four lanes 1km over the River Derwent (Render courtesy of McConnell Dowell)
Melbourne contractor McConnell Dowell has won a contract to design and build the New Bridgewater Bridge in the Australian island state of Tasmania, replacing the existing, two-lane steel truss vertical lift bridge completed in 1946 with a streamlined, four-lane highway bridge.

Tasmania’s Department of State Growth said it will be the state’s largest ever transport infrastructure project. The Australian and Tasmanian governments have committed A$786m (US$543m) to it.

Located 20km north of Hobart’s central business district, the modern bridge will span 1km over the River Derwent.

The upgrade will benefit the 22,000 people that use the crossing every day and complete what the contractor called “the missing link in the state’s national highway”.

Situated downstream of the old bridge, the new one will have enhanced interchanges at either end and a shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.

The existing Bridgewater Bridge was built in 1946 (Noodle snacks/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Joining McConnell Dowell are design partners Jacobs; Tony Gee and Partners; Tonkin and Taylor; Wood Marsh; and Pitt & Sherry. Its main construction partner is bridge specialist VSL.

Tasmanian contractors Batchelor, BridgePro, Hazel Brothers and VEC have also been engaged.

Major construction starts later this year and the new bridge will be open to traffic by the end of 2024.

Department of State Growth Deputy Project Director, Kevin Bourne, said: “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.”

McConnell Dowell CEO Scott Cummins said: “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.”

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