Bass Highway, Tasmania
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|Length||263 km (163 mi)|
|State Route 2|
|East end||Midland Highway, Launceston, Tasmania|
|West end|| Arthur River Road /
|Major settlements||Deloraine, Devonport, Ulverstone, Burnie, Smithton|
The Bass Highway is a highway in Tasmania, Australia. It is a part of the National Highway, designated as National Highway 1 and connects the major cities across the north of the state - Burnie, Devonport and Launceston.
The route of the highway originally passed through the localities which are now known as:
- Prospect and other Launceston suburbs
- Elizabeth Town
From here, the highway ceases to be part of the National Highway, but continues as the Bass Highway (A2) through the following towns:
As part of the National Highway, there have been many on-going changes to the highway.
At the same time as the southern outlet in Launceston was built in the 1980s (connecting to the Midland Highway), the Bass Highway was extended to connect directly onto the new segment of highway. Since that time, almost the entire length of the highway has been re-aligned to allow for dual carriageway, overtaking lanes, and the bypass of small towns.
Along the Launceston-Deloraine corridor, this had included Carrick and Hadspen in the 1980s and Deloraine in the early 1990s. The longest stretch of highway, the Hagley-Westbury bypass, was completed in 2001. The response from residents of the small towns effected has not been popular, but the 'old' highway, now known as the Meander Valley Highway, is promoted as a tourist route.
The Latrobe-Somerset corridor has had a similar re-alignment. The response has been different to the Launceston-Deloraine route, as the highway is more of a commuter highway than a tourist highway, and as such the local economy does not rely on passing tourists.