It is with great pleasure that I report that the first vehicles have travelled through Paradise Gorge on the Tasman Highway following the removal of overhanging rocks.
Barriers were removed from this section of the road at 7:00am this morning as scheduled.
We understand the impact this necessary work has had on local communities and we thank them for their understanding during the road works.
The project involved removing an estimated 2,000 tonnes of rocks that had been identified as posing a high risk of rock fall.
In addition to the rock removal works, a range of additional works have been completed both at the site and further along the Tasman Highway, including cutting back vegetation, cleaning roadside drains, replacing guide posts, repairing gabion walls and safety fencing, inspecting other rock mesh and restraints, and removing rubbish.
The cutting back and removal of vegetation means more of the rock in the area is now visible. All of the high-risk rock has been removed and we will continue to monitor the area both by regular inspections and remote monitoring systems.
Traffic is restricted to one lane along a 300-metre section where some final works are being completed before returning the road to normal two-lane operations.
These works include installing mesh on the rockface, repairing the retaining wall along the river and finally resurfacing the road, and are expected to take six weeks.
A 40 km/h speed limit and traffic management controls will be in place while this work is completed. While we appreciate there will be interest in the changed rockface, we ask drivers to pay attention to their speed and the traffic control measures, and other vehicles as work is continuing and workers and machinery will still be operating in the area.
For further information and regular updates visit www.transport.tas.gov.au/orford