Tasmanian company Hazell Bros Group has started works on the new bypass linking the Tasman and Arthur Highways, which will create a more direct route for traffic and relieve pressure on the Sorell town centre.

The project is a key part of the $350 million Hobart to Sorell Corridor Package, jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments and also known as the South East Traffic Solution.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said today’s announcement is another example of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s $4.9 billion investment in the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative being delivered.

“Nationwide, we are investing in projects like this to help connect regional businesses to local and international markets, and better link up regional communities – to help secure our economic recovery,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This project is about ensuring Tasmania’s key freight roads more efficiently connect agricultural and mining regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs. This will support regional jobs and industries.”

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the project is a key part of the Greater Hobart Transport Vision under the Hobart City Deal.

“The new bypass will help reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and increase access to and from the city as well as providing jobs for locals,” Minister Fletcher said.

“The Tasman Highway is one of Tasmania’s most important transport corridors, linking Hobart, the airport, major industrial zones and the rapidly expanding residential areas around Sorell.

“This is another example of how the Hobart City Deal is delivering for the people of Tasmania.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said the new bypass aims to improve safety and travel time for people travelling between Hobart and the Southern Beaches and Tasman Peninsula.

“The new bypass will also improve the traffic environment for Sorell residents by removing through traffic from the town centre,” Minister Ferguson said.

“We expect about half the number of vehicles currently travelling through Sorell will use the bypass instead.

“Improving its efficiency and safety for the increasing numbers of commuters, visitors and freight vehicles is a priority for the Australian and Tasmanian governments.”

Senator for Tasmania Eric Abetz said other major South East Traffic Solution projects under construction are the Hobart Airport Interchange and the Midway Point Intersection Solution.

“Planning is also underway on the duplication of the Midway Point and Sorell causeways, and the duplication of the Tasman Highway between the airport and the Midway Point causeway,” Senator Abetz said.

Assistant Minister for Industry Development Jonno Duniam said the 1.5-kilometre-long Sorell bypass will run between the Tasman Highway near Stores Lane on the southern side of Sorell and the Arthur Highway near Nugent Road.

“The bypass will be single-lane in each direction with a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour, and roundabouts at either end will connect to the Tasman and Arthur Highways,” Senator Duniam said.

“The project will also provide new access to the Giblin Drive Industrial Estate.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2022 and is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $20 million and the Tasmanian Government $5 million.

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