The GPS 2018 promotes a strategic shift away from building new state highway capacity. Instead, the focus is on making the existing system more efficient where possible and improving the network where needed to address issues with safety, access to social and economic opportunities, and resilience.
During the 2018–21 period, the Transport Agency will invest about $3.5 billion on new improvements to the network. New investments are focused on delivering the infrastructure needed to support a safe system free from death and serious injury, on improving the resilience of critical parts of the network such as interregional connections important for freight and tourism, and on supporting planned urban growth in metropolitan areas.
Safety of our state highways will be improved by investing in high-value interventions that can be delivered within the next three years and will immediately deliver significant safety benefits. The interventions within any given corridor will typically include median barriers, intersection improvements, measures to improve safety for motorcycles, support for walking and cycling, and speed management.
Over the next three years, significant improvements will be made to the resilience of our state highways, particularly in areas prone to road closures due to their unique geology and topography. This will include replacing end-of-life bridges and installing protection against scour from sand and gravel, and implementing rock-fall prevention measures on key freight and tourism routes. The Transport Agency will also respond to gradual climate change impacts where appropriate.
When delivering new state highway capacity or infrastructure, investment will be aligned with urban and regional growth strategies and supports planned residential and commercial development. Investment in state highways will complement local road projects, integrate with land use planning, and support connections to other transport modes such as public transport, walking and cycling.
To realise the Government’s vision for the transport network, we have taken a fresh look at our transport investments. As a result, a number of proposed state highway projects are now being re-evaluated to ensure alignment with the Government’s new strategic priorities. This work will take up to six months to complete as we establish what the right way forward is for these corridors. Once this work has been completed, work on these projects may proceed as originally planned, be staged differently or explore lower cost options.