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New bridge design raises questions

Bridgewater Bridge

At least two southern Tasmanian councils are cautiously optimistic about a replacement Bridgewater Bridge, after the Tasmanian Government released eight approved design requirements.

Derwent Valley Mayor Ben Shaw wants to see boating access return to the upper reaches of the Derwent River, meaning the existing structure would need to be removed.

However, Brighton's Tony Foster says light rail needs to be part of the mix moving forward, either on the new bridge or with the existing railway.

Independent Member for Clark Andrew Wilkie has looked at the designs and is disappointed there's no room for light rail.

"There is a compelling case for the establishment of light passenger rail in Hobart and there’s every chance it would cross the river and extend to the growth areas around Brighton. This would also provide a valuable transport service for the residents of suburbs like Gagebrook and Bridgewater who remain sadly neglected when it comes to public transport."

Mr Wilkie would like to see a fifth lane added to the bridge design to allocate for light rail in the years to come.

"Provision for a future railway line on the new bridge would also keep alive the possibility of freight rail returning to Hobart," Mr Wilkie said.

Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson says the new bridge will be open within three-and-a-half years.