Department of State GrowthRoads for our Future

Midland Highway
10 Year Action Plan

Road work key

Lane separation

Road widening and installation of a central median with flexible safety barrier to eliminate head on collisions

Additional lanes

Construction of additional northbound and southbound overtaking lanes to avoid driver frustration and improve efficiency

Junction improvement

Providing protected lanes to allow turning vehicles to move out of the traffic flow

Alignment upgrade

Smoothing out tight curves and blind spots

Dual carriageway

Four lane separated highway where traffic volumes are higher, such as near Hobart and Launceston

Safety improvements

Interim safety improvements for the section between Bagdad and Mangalore

New link road

New road to connect the Midland Highway with Illawarra Main Road

Map key

  1. Midland Highway
  2. Existing 3-star rating
  3. Proposed road work
  4. Major intersecting road
  5. Project indicator
  6. Major town
  7. City

We're taking action to improve safety on the Midland Highway

The Midland Highway 10 Year Action Plan sets out the Australian and Tasmanian governments' key priorities for investing $500 million over 10 years to upgrade the highway and improve road safety and save lives on Tasmania's key north-south freight route. We will improve road safety and decrease driver frustration by providing a safer road with more overtaking opportunities.

We'll do this by delivering a 3 star safety rating for the Midland Highway

The objective of our 10 year investment in the Midland Highway is to deliver a minimum 3 star rating for the highway's entire length. The Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) is part of the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) that uses star ratings to measure the safety of a road's infrastructure. Each road is assigned a star rating which tells us how safe the road itself is and allows road safety improvements to be identified and costed. The AusRAP Star Rating Australia's National Network of Highways 2013 report found that the majority of the Midland Highway rated either only 1 or 2 star, in its 5 star safety rating scale.

How will we achieve a 3 star rating?

We are using the Safe System approach, which has been adopted by all Australian states and territory road authorities. This approach recognises that people will make mistakes which result in crashes, and road infrastructure needs to be designed to take account of these errors. For most of the Midland Highway, the predominant crash type is loss of control, most of which are single vehicle crashes with some resulting in head-on crashes and fatalities. 60% of the fatalities on the highway have been due to head-on crashes. To achieve a 3 star safety rating, a number of road treatments can be applied. Read more

These include:

  • Lane separation with flexible safety barriers can achieve a 90% reduction in serious road trauma caused by head-on and run-off road crashes.
  • Audible edge lines (rumble strips) alert drivers when they wander towards the edge of the road and provide time to recover.
  • Extended sealed shoulders prevent loss of control when a vehicle crosses the edge line.
  • Clearing roadside hazards or providing roadside barriers where hazards can't be removed.
  • Improving skid resistance of road surfaces.
  • Upgrading junctions by providing turning lanes to allow turning vehicles to move out of the traffic flow.
  • Alignment upgrades to smooth out tight corners and blind spots.
  • Constructing 2+1 lane arrangements to improve overtaking opportunities and reduce driver frustration and prevent high-risk overtaking.

Dual carriageway

Dual carriageways are provided at locations where traffic volumes are higher - generally near Launceston and Hobart. Our action plan includes the construction of a four lane dual carriageway from Perth to Breadalbane in northern Tasmania. The provision of a four lane highway elsewhere will remain a long term goal which will be achieved by upgrading in a staged process as traffic volumes increase.

Will my travel time be affected?

Construction will be managed to reduce inconvenience, but we recognise that there will be some disruption and delays for motorists travelling along the highway as these important safety improvements are progressively rolled out. You can check out our road closures and delays page to get the latest information about possible delays. Motorists are reminded to slow down and comply with the posted speed limits for all roadwork sites. Speed limits may be reduced when there are changes to the road surface, new or no line marking, changes to centre separation, new or no barriers, or road workers and equipment on the road or at the side of the road. The need to reduce the speed may not be obvious, but reduced speed limits are for your safety and the safety of road workers. We thank motorists for their patience and understanding that this is the Tasmanian Government’s top road safety priority and will help save lives.

Find out more

You can sign up to receive regular updates about the Midland Highway safety upgrades here. If you would like further information, please contact the Department of State Growth

Phone: 1800 753 878

Business opportunities

Contractors interested in tendering for upcoming road safety projects are encouraged to check out the Tasmanian Government's tenders site