Australian Midland Highway

The Australian Government has launched a request for tenders for the duplication of the Midland Highway from Perth to Breadalbane in New South Wales, Australia.

Developed with extensive local consultation, the A$60m ($44m) project represents one of the biggest safety upgrades in the A$500m ($366.2m) Midland Highway ten-year action plan.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said: "Crashes are estimated to cost the Australian economy an estimated $27 billion per year.

"Crashes are estimated to cost the Australian economy an estimated $27 billion per year."

"This upgrade is therefore an investment not just for Tasmania, but for the national economy as well."

The project is expected to deliver a divided four-lane highway from Youl Road, north of Perth, to the existing four lane southern outlet into Launceston, just north of the Breadalbane roundabout, while creating 60 full time jobs.

Tasmanian Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding said: "The design features safer access to the highway for local residents and businesses, such as a new underpass arrangement for both Devon Hills Road and the business precinct on the western side of the highway.

"There will also be an underpass for airport and Hobart Road traffic, and the design includes substantial consideration of cyclists, as this area is a popular cyclist link to the Northern Midlands."

The government aims to bring the full length of Midland Highway up to a minimum AusRAP 3-star safety rating by the end of the ten-year action plan.

According to AusRAP Star Rating Australia’s National Network of Highways 2013 report, the majority of the Midland Highway is rated either only 1 or 2 star, in its 5 star safety rating scale.

The last date for submission of tenders is 2 December 2015.

Image: Midlands Highway at Dysart in Tasmania, Australia. Photo: courtesy of KeresH.