IT will be some time before Northern Tasmanians know whether a bridge linking the East and West Tamar highways is a viable and cost-effective project.
A feasibility study into the plan to build across the Tamar River will be undertaken over the next two years before the findings are taken to the federal government for funding.
The Tasmanian government provided $2.5 million for the study, and $25 million “within the five-year window” for the project which the government estimated would be complete by 2028.
The government promised to “immediately commence the planning, design and costing work” after its re-election in March.
A spokesperson for the Infrastructure Minister said future funding would be provided, should the project be found to be viable.
“It is anticipated the feasibility study for this project will be undertaken in the next two years,” he said.
“As outlined in the government’s policy announcement, the current financial commitment for the bridge project is an initial contribution and does not cover the cost of construction.
“Further funding is yet to be finalised and will require a request for Federal funding.”
Groups have spent years lobbying for the bridge project, which would link Riverside to Newnham with a crossing north of Cormiston Road. It would allow motorists to avoid the congested West Tamar Highway when it arrives in central Launceston.
In 2012, the Launceston City Council lobbied both sides of federal politics to fund the project, which it estimated would cost about $50 million.
The proposal was one of several road projects promised by the Hodgman Government in the lead-up to last year’s election.
The roads package, totalling $92.5 million, also included a “road swap” deal with the council that would hand control of central parts of Bathurst, Wellington, York and Brisbane streets to the state government. The deal is expected to be finalised “early this year”.