TRANSPORT SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
The State Roads Infrastructure Strategy explains how the Tasmanian Government determines its road investment priorities and shows the main projects to be undertaken and planned to be undertaken in its five-year forward works program.
This strategy targets key investment imperatives on Tasmania’s State Road network. These investments will facilitate more efficient and effective transport services that are critical to the function of the Tasmanian economy. It supports economic growth, social well-being, environmental sustainability and the Tasmanian lifestyle.
The general community, tourists and industry are the main beneficiaries of the Roads Program.
How this program is delivered
Agency staff undertake assessment of the transport task which is then reflected in a five-year works program and delivered through contracts and consultancies. External service providers are engaged to develop projects from the concept stage through community input and approval phases, to the works tender stage, while all works contracts are externally sourced. The maintenance of the classified road network is performed under contract.
Achievements Against Strategies for 2003/04
In 2003/04 the Tasmanian Government invested $52.32 million in maintaining and improving the State Road network. This includes roads, bridges, drainage structures, signs, pavement marking and other associated assets. Included in this is operation of a number of bridges, responding to emergency events and responding to urgent safety and community issues.
Collectively, the program for roads during 2003/04 included the following significant upgrading and maintenance projects:
Planning for the upgrading of the West Tamar Highway between Cormiston Creek and Legana;
Completion of the final seal on the Cradle Mountain Tourist Road;
Design documentation for the Kingston Interchange – Huonville Loop;
Completion of works on the Lyell Highway in Strahan;
Commencement of the upgrade of the Glen Huon Main Road;
Commencement of design and consultation for the Tasman Highway Gordons Hill Ramp;
Completion of final seal on the Black and Detention River Bridges;
Commencement of the replacement of the Risdon Cove Causeway Bridge;
Commencement of the replacement of Arthur Highway Bridge between Taranna and Port Arthur.
Completion of the upgrade of the Arthur Highway, Gunns Hill Overtaking Lanes;
Continuation of construction of various projects between Lilydale and Scottsdale;
Continuation of road upgrading on the Mudwalls Road;
Completion of the sealing of the Arthur River Road;
Completion of works on the Channel Highway at Margate;
Implementation of high-return safety improvement projects identified through planning studies and safety audits;
Community, cycling and tourism infrastructure projects in partnership with local councils;
Routine and specific maintenance programs to ensure the State roads and bridges deliver appropriate levels of service; and
Environmental projects to reduce the impact of the roads and their management on the roadsides and wider environment.
In addition to this program is the continuing investment by the Australian Government in the National Highway. The National Highway is a core part of the State’s transport system and its development and management is integrated with the State Road network. The National Highway connects Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.
In 2003/04 the Australian Government invested $17.05 million on works on the National Highway. The strategies being implemented on the State Roads are complementary to those for the National Highway. The details of the National Highway strategies are set in the National Highway Tasmania : Forward Strategy Report 2003.
Major construction projects on the National Highway included:
Design and tender documentation for the Bass Highway upgrade between Penguin and Ulverstone;
Planning for the replacement of the Bridgewater Bridge;
Completion of the dual carriageway on the Bass Highway from Port Sorell to East Devonport; and
Completion of junction improvements on the Midland Highway at Leighlands Secondary Road and Winstead Road.
The Australian Government also met its contribution in 2003/04 to the Arthur Highway improvements through the Roads of National Importance (RONI) program.
In June 2004 the Australian Government announced its policy to replace the National Highway with a National Network of roads and rail links under its AusLink Strategy. Policy requirements will have an impact on future funding arrangements between the Commonwealth and the State.
ROADS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (RIMS)
Establishment of agreements with key RIMS stakeholders, including Service Level Agreements with the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment (DPIWE) and DIER’s Registration and Licensing Branch and Information Management Branch, a Licence Agreement with Aurora Energy and a Data Share Memorandum of Understanding with DIER’s Resource Management Branch.
Establishment of Data Custodian Agreements with Data Owners.
Launch of the RIMS intranet site.
Establishment of the RIMS User Group.
Completion of the RIMS Quality Manual.
Continued management of the RIMS Phase 3 Development project (currently being developed by Geometry Pty Ltd).
Modifications to the database to spatially enable the system.
Two maintenance releases, following a Service Level Agreement signed with Mineral Resources Tasmania in 2002/03.
The Transport Infrastructure Branch was formed in July 2003 with the amalgamation of the Asset Management Branch and staff from the Land Transport Planning Branch. These staff brought the responsibility for planning for future development of the State road network into the Branch to provide further integration with the management of existing road and bridge assets.
The Transport Infrastructure Branch is located within the Roads and Public Transport Division and is responsible for:
Providing high level strategic advice on the management of the State road network, including investment priorities and funding;
Developing network development, asset management and environmental management strategies and programs for the State road network for the benefit of the community;
Developing asset maintenance and construction standards to ensure assets deliver agreed levels of service in a sustainable manner;
Developing operational and environmental standards and protocols for the management of the State road network;
Providing input and advice to the wider Agency on transport infrastructure issues;
Monitoring and reporting on the performance of the State road network; and
Acquiring and managing land for infrastructure development.
State Roads Infrastructure Investment Strategy
The State Roads Infrastructure Strategy demonstrates the Tasmanian Government’s road investment priorities and details the main projects to be undertaken in 2004/05 and planned to be undertaken in its five year forward works program. The strategy targets key investment imperatives on Tasmania’s State road network.
The Strategy is a key document in setting out specific road investment strategies and priorities for the next five years.
Strategic Asset Management Plan
Significant progress has been made on developing the Strategic Asset Management Plan in 2003/04.
Additional resources have been procured to establish the maintenance needs of the bridge asset via a Life Cycle Analysis of the entire bridge stock, and to develop the asset management tool HDM-4 to determine optimum resurfacing and reinstatement needs of the road pavement asset.
The finalised version of the Strategic Asset Management Plan, containing the management strategies flowing out of this work, will be completed in 2004/05. The Plan sets out the framework for the strategic management of the Classified Road and Bridge Networks for the next two decades.
National Highway Forward Strategy
The National Highway in Tasmania incorporates the Bass Highway from Burnie to Launceston and the Midland Highway from Launceston to Bridgewater. As it links the major urban areas with each other and the major ports, it comprises the most important roads interconnecting Tasmania.
DIER’s National Highway Forward Strategy proposed a five-year recommended program of planning, maintenance and construction projects to improve the National Highway and roads recognised as being Roads of National Importance.
The status of the National Highway and the future of Roads of National Importance is now being clarified following the release of the Commonwealth’s AusLink White Paper.
Cradle Mountain Tourist Road Project
DIER has had a significant input into the infrastructure planning for Cradle Valley. All work associated with the provision of a sealed single carriageway road, with passing bays, between the Cradle Mt Visitor Centre and Dove Lake has been finalised.
In addition, as part of the overall traffic management strategy developed by DIER and the Parks and Wildlife Service, Parks have established limited parking within the National Park and introduced a shuttle service for visitors.
For the overall project:
The sealing of the road has eliminated environmental issues associated with the former gravel road, such as gravel wash, dust and possible plant disease introduction, in the sensitive alpine environment.
The road concept also ensures that vehicle travel speeds remain low and do not pose an increased risk for wildlife.
The traffic management and the shuttle service have been highly successful in reducing the amount of vehicular traffic and road safety within the National Park, despite the significant increase in visitor numbers over the summer holiday period.
All the introduced measures have received high community acceptance.
The future development of a new Parks and Wildlife Visitor and Information Centre at the former airstrip will require some input from the Department.
North East Tasmania Access Study
Work is progressing for several projects identified to improve the Golconda-Lilydale Road and safety of the Tasman Highway north of Nunamara.
This year Launceston City Council installed a traffic management scheme to enhance amenity and safety in Lilydale, new guardrail was installed on the Lilydale road, and design has begun on rehabilitation of the road north of Nunamara on the Tasman Highway. A design and construct contract has been let for replacement of some bridges on the Golconda Road.
The Resource Planning and Development Commission in April 2004 approved the key project for the Golconda Road, a new 9.5 kilometre alignment for the western approaches to Scottsdale after significant public consultation.
Work is progressing on the design. It is anticipated that the road will be constructed in two stages by two separate contracts and it is expected that work will begin on the first stage, closest to Scottsdale, next construction season.
West Tamar Corridor Study
The West Tamar Corridor Study includes the West Tamar Highway, the Batman Highway, the Frankford Main Road and the Birralee Main Road.
The corridor study includes a prioritised list of key projects that address specific high priority transport outcomes, including concept estimates, across these State roads in the study area. A range of community input has been very useful to the Department in its assessment of issues on the West Tamar Highway.
The Department has completed the consultation draft of the West Tamar Corridor Study and will now be undertaking broad consultation with the community.
Following DIER and Tasmanian Heritage Council agreement on a preferred upgrading concept for the Midland Highway across the Derwent River at Bridgewater, a case for adopting this concept was presented to the Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS).
Following discussion on the project scope, all estimates were reviewed and additional information on traffic assessments, together with safety and operational issues for various options, was provided.
While the Australian Government has confirmed its commitment of $100 million for the project, it has yet to agree to the Tasmanian Government's preferred concept for replacement of the bridge.
Midland Highway – Perth Planning Study
The Planning Study concluded that the construction of the Southern and Western Connectors could not be justified at this stage. However, the study did recommend that:
Junctions within the commercial area of the Main Street of Perth should be upgraded in the short term to improve safety. (This project would be subject to a separate future report seeking funding under the AusLink program).
Corridors for the future connectors should be immediately incorporated into the Northern Midlands Council’s Planning Scheme to ensure the integration of transport and land use planning issues associated with the continuing development of Perth.
Before beginning the planning scheme amendment process, comments on the supporting documentation, including the draft final community newsletter to be circulated, were sought from DOTARS.
DOTARS verbally advised that it supported the findings of the study and provided comments on the community newsletter. However, DIER is still awaiting the formal response from DOTARS before proceeding with the planning scheme amendment process.
Bagdad Planning Study
The documentation to support the incorporation of the Eastern Corridor within the Southern Midlands Council’s Planning Scheme was finalised after extensive discussion with officers from the Council and the Resource Planning and Development Commission (RPDC).
Before beginning the planning scheme amendment process, comments on the supporting documentation, including the final community newsletter to be circulated, were sought from DOTARS. DIER is still awaiting the formal response from DOTARS before proceeding with the planning scheme amendment process.
Bass Highway - Sisters Hills
DIER has worked closely with local councils and the community in developing priorities for the upgrading of the Bass Highway through the Sisters Hills section. These priorities were confirmed in workshops with road user focus groups and in meetings with each council. These priorities have formed the basis of a submission to the Australian Government for future funding of this section of the highway.
Road Signs Upgrading
DIER is working closely with Tourism Tasmania, Councils and local tourism groups in developing and implementing a program of upgrading directional and tourism signs across the State road network. This program is ongoing and is addressing the most critical junctions and tourism areas. It is integrated with the State Government’s touring route strategy. Signs on the Lyell Highway from Granton to Strahan were upgraded in 2003/04.
Environmental Management Systems for Transport Activities
This program aims to improve environmental outcomes of transport projects by achieving compliance with environmental and heritage legislation. The Transport Infrastructure Branch sponsors projects addressing core objectives of DIER’s Environmental Policy, namely, soil and water quality management, biodiversity protection and supporting community and heritage values. Two examples of projects within the environmental management program are the implementation of a management plan for high priority conservation sites and the spatial weed mapping project.
Greening Australia has been commissioned to apply their ‘Enviromark’ system of mapping, marking and advising of site specific conservation practices to a number of high priority flora conservation sites in the state roadside reserves.
A statewide weed mapping project has been initiated by the Transport Infrastructure Branch in conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment’s Regional Weed Officers. The extent of weed mapping across regional and local boundaries has been ascertained. Comprehensive biannual surveys of roadside weeds will be conducted by DIER to prioritise annual weed management programs. Spatial data collected during these surveys will be transferred to DPIWE’s central weed management database (RETICLE).
Both projects endorse active consultation with Commonwealth and State environmental agencies, councils and local landowners and enable DIER to more effectively and efficiently manage both threatened plant species and declared weeds within the roadside reserves.
Videography Survey of State Roads
Video of the network available to DIER's Murray St building has been also made available to staff in the Launceston and Burnie offices. The Southern Region video has been updated from the 2004 survey. The ready access to any site on the State Road Network is a useful tool.
Upgrade of Traffic Counters
New technology traffic counters have been installed on the Tasman Bridge. Information collected includes traffic volumes, vehicle categories and speed. The device uses infra-red beams instead of the traditional detectors embedded into the road pavement, making the condition of the pavement irrelevant to the performance of the counters.
The table below provides comparative information on two key effectiveness indicators for the Roads Program. The Road Maintenance Effectiveness (RME) indicator represents the cost per lane kilometre to maintain road pavements to target conditions. The Smooth Travel Exposure (STE) indicator represents the proportion of travel being undertaken by vehicles on sealed roads of roughness less than a nationally specified level.
ROAD MAINTENANCE EFFECTIVENESS AND SMOOTH TRAVEL EXPOSURE
1997/98 TO 2003/04
|Road Maintenance Effectiveness 110 NRM ($'000)||4.1||3.9||3.4||3.4||3.1||2.9||2.9|
|Road Maintenance Effectiveness 140 NRM ($'000)||3.6||3.5||3.1||3.1||2.8||2.6||2.6|
|Smooth Travel Exposure - 110 NRM (%)||94.5||95.2||95.1||95||95.4||95.7||96.6|
|Smooth Travel Exposure - 140 NRM (%)||99.2||99.3||99.4||99.2||99.2||99.4||99.4|
Note: NRM — NAASRA roughness measure.
Representations on National Forums
Staff from the Transport Infrastructure Branch participate in a number of significant national forums directly related to the core business of the Branch. In particular, representation on Austroads task forces and committees ensures incorporation of best practice into road transport management in Tasmania, including planning, design, asset management and specific technical issues.
Traffic signal construction and maintenance
One new signal site was commissioned at Harrington St/Melville St, Hobart.
Nine signal sites have been upgraded to reduce maintenance costs and power requirements.
20 pedestrian crossings have been converted to audio tactile to assist the sight- impaired.
10 dial-up modems have been installed in outlying areas to provide remote interrogation and monitoring of traffic signals.
The western approach gantries to the Tasman Bridge have been converted to Light Emitting Diode (LED) displays.
A low cost SCATS data multiplexer has been developed to reduce leased line costs by a factor of four.
The Tasman Bridge and western approach signal gantries have all been converted to LED displays, the power consumption for the bridge signals has dropped by a total of 68,000 kilowatt-hours per annum and maintenance requirements for burnt out lamps have dropped from daily to virtually nil. The savings arising from a reduced maintenance requirement amount to an estimated $30,000 a year.
The “greenhouse gas” equivalent savings for the Tasman Bridge amount to nearly 70,000 kg of carbon dioxide a year. If the savings in vehicle delays due to maintenance and accidents were included, this figure would be very much higher.
Designs were developed for pedestrian facilities, bus lay-bys and related road safety improvements along the Channel Highway on the outskirts of Kingston.
DIER officers provided expertise in developing traffic management solutions supporting streetscape improvements to the Huon Highway through Huonville, traffic control devices for the Sorell Traffic Management Scheme and signage improvements on St Marys Pass.
DIER's drafting team continued to provide services to DIER and local government, including the routine documentation of speed zones.
Assistance was given with the detailed design and development of several projects funded by the Federal Black Spot Program.
Local Government Consultation
Technical officers continued to meet regularly with staff representing local Councils to provide advice on traffic issues and to facilitate approval of traffic projects under the auspices of the Traffic Act. Most of the work for the section's engineering staff is generated by this service to local government.
When required, there has been consultation with groups representing those with mobility difficulties in the cities of Hobart and Glenorchy.
PASSENGER TRANSPORT SERVICES
Acquisition and data population of the Bus Route Management Module of RIMS is underway.
Conversion is on target of Mapinfo-generated route maps to web-ready format as Interim Service Contracts are signed with service providers.
Categorisation of Regular Passenger Transport Services as “core” or “non-core” commenced and is expected to be completed by the end of 2004.
50% of all essential regular passenger transport services were provided under interim service contracts (ISC) by 30 June 2004.
Transport Access Scheme
Active Members : 18,605
Members added since 1 July 2003 : 3,312
Members removed since 1 July 2003 : 1,356
Net increase in active membership : 11.6 % (10.16% in 2002-03)
Student Transport Concession Passes (entitles the holder to free travel on fare paying services)
Total passes on issue for 2004: 12,156
Years prep through six: 4,208
Years seven through ten: 5,894
Years eleven through thirteen: 2,025
New passes issued for 2004: 5,017
Contracted School Bus Services
Number of Routes : 580
Number of Buses : 477
Number of Contracts : 424
Contracted loaded kilometres : 28,324 per day
Average daily cost per bus : $241.04
Fare Paying Services
Subsidised passenger trips for which a “top-up” payment was claimable: 2,577,280
Claimable trip by category
Students aged under 17 : 1,153,372
Students aged 17 years and over : 173,104
Student free travel aged under 17 : 840,511
Student free travel aged 17 years and over: 35,044
Student transfers aged under 17 : 25,744
Student transfers aged 17 years and over : 1499
Pensioner concession fare : 227,085
Unemployed concession fare : 81,109
Ferry pensioners : 24,097
Unemployed ferry pensioners : 7266
TAFE Concession tickets for students 17 years and over : 17,043
TAFE Concession tickets for students aged under 17 : 636
Out of hours travel voucher for students aged under 17 (private schools) : 68
Out of hours travel voucher for students aged 17 years and over (private schools) :23 Out of hours travel voucher for students aged under 17 (state schools) : 71
Out of hours travel voucher for students aged 17 years and over (state schools) : 19
Ross Bridge Conservation Plan
Central Turning Lanes Brochure
Austroads Conference Publications - Call for Papers Brochure, Registration Brochure and Program.
Public Contact Activities
Public contact activities advised the community and stakeholders of works that might affect them. They included newspaper and radio advertising, letterbox flyers, special signage, brochures, posters, meetings, presentations, workshops and web publications.
Arthur Highway – Sorell to Murdunna widening and safety works - Aug 03.Bass Highway, Ulverstone-Penguin - May 04.
Brooker Highway, Goodwood Overpass - May/June 04
Cradle Mountain Tourist Road sealing, Visitors Centre to Dove Lake -Dec/Jan.
East Derwent Highway - Risdon Cove bridge replacement May/July 04.
Esk Main Road floods and landslip - Jan 04.
Glen Huon Main Road - May 04.
Huonville Safety Improvements - Feb/May 04.
Highland Lakes Secondary Road, north of Miena - Feb/Mar 04.
Launceston Southern Outlet Road - Kings Meadows - Prospect - Apr 04.
Lyell Highway landslip near Queenstown - Sept 03.
Macquarie Street Clearway Proposal, Hobart - Feb 04.
Midland Highway, Bridgewater Bridge replacement - ongoing.
Midland Highway Campbell Town/Symmons Plains sealing works - Jan 04.
Midland Highway, Winstead Road junction, Bagdad - Nov/Feb - 04
Mudwalls Secondary Road - Sept/Jan 04.
Tasman Highway Ramps/Gordons Hill Road improvements - Feb 04.
Tasman Highway, western approaches to Scottsdale (North East Tasmania Access Study - NETAS) - July 03.
Tyenna River Bridge, Westerway - Sept/Nov 03.
West Tamar Highway – Cormiston Creek to Legana - Sept/Oct 03.
West Tamar Highway/Cormiston Creek to Legana - Oct 03.
Tasman Highway, western approaches to Scottsdale - Nov 03.
Glen Huon Main Road/Widening – Nov 03
Bass Highway, Ulverstone to Penguin - April 04
Huonville Safety Improvements - May 04
Tasman Highway ramps/Gordons Hill Rd, Lindisfarne - April/May - 04
5th Austroads Bridge Conference May 04.
Fifth Austroads Bridge Conference - 17-22 May 04.
Arthur Highway upgrading public ceremony to unveil Bronze Eagle at Dunalley - 26 March 04
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