The next stage of upgrades to the Great Eastern Drive are promising to directly address safety issues raised by 28 of the 33 historic crashes in the area in the last 10 years.
The promised increased road safety to the 3.61 kilometre stretch between Basin Creek Road and St Helens will be mainly achieved through improved road alignment and greater overtaking opportunities.
A development application for the upgrades was lodged by the Department of State Growth with the Break O’Day Council.
A field survey found 11 threatened fauna species were likely to occur in the proposed works areas, but none were found.
It also found two rare Brachyloma depressum plants in the surveyed area. It will apply to DPIPWE for a permit to take one and will leave the other in situ. A threatened orchid species and a grass species were also likely to occur in the area, but neither were found.
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There are numerous watercourses and two wetlands within 50 metres of the proposed works, but the DA states it will limit adverse effects on the areas.
The upgrades are a part of the government’s pledged $30 million to upgrade the entire 176 kilometre section of the Tasman Highway from Orford to St Helens.
Infrastructure and transport Minister Michael Ferguson said the upgrades also supported jobs in the civil construction industry.
“The aim is to improve access to the region’s iconic attractions for visitors while also providing a safer and more convenient road environment for all,” he said.
“The Basin Creek to St Helens stage will add two dedicated overtaking lanes, and widen and re-align the road at specific points.
“The work will improve sight distances and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.”
The DA is available for public comment until September 18. Additionally, tenders have also opened to apply for the upgrade contract, they close September 23.
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