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An election commitment has secured $40 million in Federal Government funding which, matched with State Government funding, will provide $50 million towards a significant upgrading of the Tasman Highway between Minstone Road and St Patricks River.

The objective of the project is to upgrade approximately 24km of the Tasman Highway including the notorious “Sideling” to allow for heavy vehicle usage, transforming the Tasman Highway into the preferred freight route to Launceston. The upgrade will see the straightening of the existing alignment, widening of the road pavement, and the addition of passing lanes and slow vehicle turn out points.

In addition to the obvious benefits to residents of the North East through improved road infrastructure, this project will be the most significant inter-generational investment in the region to date unlocking the potential of the North East, leveraging off the significant investment in irrigation schemes in the region. The project will also provide significant benefit to the City of Launceston by taking the North East freight off the northern outlet and out of Bathurst and Patterson Streets and will provide an improved access route through to the east coast via the Dorset municipality.

The project will be delivered in two stages:

  • Stage 1 | Section 1 is 4.55km and starts from the intersection of the Tasman Highway and the access road (550m south-east of the Sideling Lookout) to the intersection of the Tasman Highway and Whish-Wilson Road.
  • Stage 1 | Section 2 is 10.61km and starts from the intersection of Whish-Wilson Road to the intersection of East/West Minstone Roads.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works were engaged to review the project and conducted their inquiry during December 2021 and January 2022, with their final report available to read here in full.

To view the plans and read other information on the upgrade, visit the Tasmanian Government Transport Services website here.

The Department of State Growth will be completing the Sideling Upgrade between St Patrick's River, Targa and Minstone Road, Scottsdale. The works will include improved road safety by providing road widening, lane widening on tight curves and sealed shoulders, including slow vehicle turn outs, with works commencing in August 2022.

The Sideling, which was damaged in the extreme rain event that hit north-east Tasmania in October 2022 and closed by Tasmania Police to keep road users safe, has been restored by the Department of State Growth.

The Sideling opened on Monday 27 February 2023 to all vehicles except articulated heavy vehicles.

Traffic changes

During construction there will be lane closures and delays. One lane will always remain open for most vehicles, however, the road will be closed to all articulated heavy vehicles (class 6 vehicles and above), at all times, including outside work hours.

Works will be undertaken between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday to Saturday and should be finished in May 2024, weather permitting. The Department of State Growth will advise in advance if they need to do any work outside these times.

Traffic management will be in place to ensure the safety of workers and road users and will be designed to minimise impacts on traffic.

Speed limits through the project site will be reduced to 40 km/h during working hours. Motorists should allow up to 30 minutes extra travel time during this work. You may wish to use an alternate route. Please keep to speed limits and follow the directions of traffic controllers and signs.

Updated 27 February 2023

Project Status

✓ Project Commenced (July 2021)

Stage 1, Section 1 Complete (2024)

Stage 1, Section 2 Commenced (early 2025)

Stage 1, Section 2 Complete (mid 2026)

Stage 2 Commenced

Stage 2 Complete

Document Library

Nil

Sunrise from the sideling lookout