A sample of Tasmania's expressways - the Tasman Highway (formerly Hobart Eastern Outlet) looking west at Mornington. Source: Josh Geoghegan, Dec 2004.

In this section:
- Introduction
- Overview of Tasmania's Expressway
- Hobart Northern Outlet
- Hobart Southern Outlet
- Hobart Eastern Outlet
- Bellerive Bypass
- Launceston Southern Outlet
- East Tamar Outlet
- Bass Highway
- Midland Highway


Before we begin, I should point out that I have used the word ‘Expressway’ to describe Tasmania’s small collection of limited-access and partially grade-separated roads. None have been designed to what we would call ‘full freeway standard’ (i.e. the standard found in the mainland states) but the traffic speeds and volumes, juxtaposed with the terrain the most of the routes pass through, means that full-freeway standards are not really necessary. Having said that, the National Highway route has been designed (for projects designed in 1976 and later) to National Highway standards - albeit those standards are specific to the Tasmanian corridor.

Tasmania’s ‘expressways’ basically consist of:

The following is a short overview of Tasmania’s ‘expressways’. Full details on the Hobart and Launceston transportation studies will be posted at a later date. For full details on each ‘expressway’ please click on the links (Coming Soon).

Overview of Tasmania's Expressways

Hobart Northern Outlet (Brooker Highway/Avenue)

The Hobart Northern Outlet project actually pre-dates the Hobart Area Transportation Study 1965, as part of the route had already been constructed by the time the study was undertaken.

It was built between prior to 1961 and 1983 as a replacement to the original route of Midland Highway between Hobart City and Granton, which passed along Elizabeth Street, New Town Road and Main Road, through the built up areas of New Town, Glenorchy and Berriedale.

South-east of Goodwood Road, the Outlet is a mixture of at-grade intersections, direct property access and some grade-separated interchanges, varying between four and six lanes. North-west of Goodwood Road, it becomes a fully grade-separated road with dual carriageways almost the entire way to Granton.

Hobart Northern Outlet was renamed Brooker Highway, after a former Premier of Tasmania, Edward Brooker, but is no longer state highway for the entire length. East of Burnett Street, North Hobart, the road is under the control of City of Hobart and is known as Brooker Avenue.

Hobart Southern Outlet (Southern Outlet Highway/Huon Highway)

The Hobart Southern Outlet was constructed between 1968 and 1985, firstly south to Kingston, thence west to meet the Huon Highway near Grove. It was intended firstly as a replacement for the narrow and winding Sandy Bay Road/Channel Highway route between Hobart and Kingston, thence as a replacement for the steep and winding former Huon Highway route through Fern Tree.

Hobart Southern Outlet is a six-lane dual carriageway between Hobart and Kingston, thence a mostly two lane expressway from Kingston to Grove with a four lane section through the bends west of Sandfly. The Hobart-Kingston leg is now fully grade-separated whilst there are still at-grade junctions between Kingston and Grove.

Southern Outlet is rare in that it was the only one of Tasmania’s ‘Outlets’ to retain its unusual name, albeit only partially. It is declared as Southern Outlet Highway between Hobart and Kingston and thence as part of Huon Highway to Grove.

Hobart Eastern Outlet (Tasman Highway)

Hobart Eastern Outlet was constructed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to replace the original route of Tasman Highway (Rosny Hill Road, Cambridge Road & Kennedy Drive) between Tasman Bridge and Hobart Airport.

It is currently dual carriageway for its entire length, reverting to single carriageway where it rejoins the original Tasman Highway alignment at the entrance to Hobart Airport.

It is declared as part of Tasman Highway.

Bellerive Bypass (South Arm Highway)

This road was planned as a ‘Freeway’ in the Hobart Area Transportation Study 1965, but it was not until the early 1980s that it was constructed in a watered-down form.

Extending from the Tasman Highway (Hobart Eastern Outlet) at Mornington to the Rokeby Main Road at Howrah, it replaced the original route between South Arm and Hobart which passed through Bellerive via Clarence Street.

Originally planned as a fully grade-separated freeway, it is currently a dual carriageway route with large-radius roundabouts controlling the at-grade intersections. Partial grade-separation is provided at the junction with Tasman Highway.

It is declared as South Arm Highway.

Launceston Southern Outlet (Midland Highway)

The Launceston Southern Outlet, planned in the Launceston Area Transportation Study 1968, was constructed between 1981 and 1987 to replace the existing route of Midland Highway between Launceston CBD and Breadalbane via Wellington St & Hobart Road.

It is dual carriageway and fully grade-separated for its entire length, with the section south of the Mount Pleasant Interchange (junction with Bass Highway) designed to National Highway standards. North of Mount Pleasant it is designed as an urban expressway.

It is declared as part of Midland Highway - the northern terminus of the Southern Outlet also forms the northern terminus of Midland Highway.

East Tamar Outlet (East Tamar Highway)

Planned in the Launceston Area Transportation Study 1968, the East Tamar Outlet was constructed between 1977 and 1992 as a replacement for the original route of East Tamar Highway through Invermay, Mowbray and Alanvale.

The first two stages (as far north as Alanvale Connector) are of dual carriageway construction, whilst the most recent extension to Landfall is only a single carriageway. The route is partially grade-separated but large seagull intersections provide access to the Mowbray and Alanvale Connectors.

It is declared as part of the East Tamar Highway - the southern terminus of the East Tamar Outlet is also the southern terminus of the East Tamar Highway.

Bass Highway

Bass Highway runs from Launceston to Marrawah, skirting the northern coast of Tasmania.

There has been, for many years, a concerted effort by the DIER and its predecessors to upgrade the Bass Highway to a limited-access dual carriageway route, with town bypasses and grade-separation where warranted. This is not just limited to the National Highway section, from Launceston to Burnie, but also extends west to Marrawah.

At present, the dual carriageway sections are concentrated between Devonport and Burnie and extending west from Launceston and most towns have been bypassed. The highway is also subject to control of access along most of its length, excluding those sections which will eventually be relocated.

Midland Highway

Midland Highway runs from Launceston to Granton, on the northern outskirts of Hobart, forming the spine of road travel in Tasmania. South of the junction with Bass Highway at Mt Pleasant, Midland Highway is part of the National Highway network.

Currently the only dual carriageway section of Midland Highway is the Launceston Southern Outlet section - i.e. from its northern terminus to the roundabout at Breadalbane. However, most, if not all, of the Midland Highway is subject to control of access and has been extensively relocated from the late 1960s to the present day with a view towards an eventual dual carriageway, limited access configuration. Most towns are now bypassed, with Bridgewater, Bagdad, Campbell Town and Perth the notable absentees.

I have included Midland Highway in this section because of the long term vision for this highway to become a limited-access route similar to the Bass Highway.

Last updated 27 May 2007
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