The federal and Tasmanian governments are calling for tenders for the Midland Highway upgrade to make safe a stretch of road that's seen multiple head-on collisions.

The project, which targets the section of road between Epping Forest to Powranna, will include road widening, additional overtaking lanes, improved junctions and installing flexible safety barrier to eliminate head on collisions.

Loss of control is the predominant crash type for most of the Midland Highway, with 60 per cent of the fatalities on the highway due to head on collisions.

Federal transport minister Darren Chester said building the 11-kilometre-long stretch, just south of Launceston, will reduce injuries and save lives on the road.

“Tasmanians will be well aware of how dangerous the Midland Highway can be to drive on,” Mr Chester said on Saturday.

“This section of the upgrade will improve safety.”

Some sections of the highway have an Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) rating of just one star – the poorest possible result.

Mr Chester says the upgrade will deliver a minimum three star AusRAP rating for the highway’s entire length and complement two projects already under way on the northern end of the highway.

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding said the community has already benefited from the upgrades.  “We are building Tasmania’s future, and these vitally important projects will not only result in increased safety, but will also provide the infrastructure needed to support Tasmania’s growing economy,” Mr Hidding said.

Tenders for the Epping Forest to Powranna project will close on July 11, 2017 with works expected to begin later in the year and be completed by 2019.


By Simone Ziaziaris