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The Tacked on Look: ACT Road modifications.

By MelonHead - 18 January 2013 42

It doesn’t take much looking to find “exciting” roadworks anywhere in Canberra. What I can’t help but notice is that when these works are finished, they all look tacked on and cheap. Then there is quality of build which is usually average to poor.

Cases in point are the new merge lane from Parkes Way to Commonwealth Ave. Rough to drive on, sketchy geometry and still a pile of dirt left nearby. What about the Kings Ave overpass of Parkes Way? Strange twists and turns on almost every approach, and traffic lights with a suburb’s worth of space between them.

Don’t mention the GDE, its intial construction, the duplication, and the astounding exit path for Aranda. Seriously, who approved that? And why?

There are many more examples. I need convincing that doing the job right the first time would cost so much more, that I should be satisfied with the existing result. Am I too fussy, or is this what we have to look forward to in the future?

What’s Your opinion?


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42 Responses to
The Tacked on Look: ACT Road modifications.
16
Deckard 7:33 pm
19 Jan 13
#

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

peeps

I think you’ve overused that word to death. Please stop.

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17
cranky 8:03 pm
19 Jan 13
#

Deckard said :

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design.

Wasn’t that the urban myth of the glenloch interchange? Before the GDE was a glint in your mother’s eye…

This nonsense goes back even further to the design of State Circle around Parl House.

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18
cranky 8:19 pm
19 Jan 13
#

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

With canberra government, and I hate to use such a cliche term, but you get what you pay for.
99% of the time, lowest bidder wins the tender.

Why exactly are the peeps responsible for the concrete pour collapsed bridge on GDE even allowed to work in this town?

A valid comment. When will we be told exactly what went wrong with this concrete pour? Certainly some individuals signed off on an inadequate structure. One assumes they did so in the hope that all would go well, but it would be educative to find what financial imperatives were laid on the table, strongly influencing their decision making.

Bottom line. Cheapest price will win every time. Shit happens, the contactor wears it. As shown by the electricity contract, price rules everything the ACT bureacracy does. Sure, they are doing everything to reduce the cost to the ACT exchequer, but I’d suggest a bit more commercial oversight of the processes would pay dividends , both financially and politically.

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19
Spykler 8:27 pm
19 Jan 13
#

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design. If you think about driving on the right hand side of the road the Aranda intersection works, well better than it does now.

The old Belconnen bus interchange was apparently based on an American design, but when we constructed it out here it was soon discovered that it worked way better if the vehicles drove on the right-hand side of the road..
Another Canberra Urban myth?- couldn’t say for sure…

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20
Antagonist 8:30 pm
19 Jan 13
#

cranky said :

Deckard said :

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design.

Wasn’t that the urban myth of the glenloch interchange? Before the GDE was a glint in your mother’s eye…

This nonsense goes back even further to the design of State Circle around Parl House.

Wasn’t all of Canberra designed by an American architect named Walter Burley Griffin?

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21
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 9:23 pm
19 Jan 13
#

Deckard said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

peeps

I think you’ve overused that word to death. Please stop.

Explain?

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22
poetix 10:15 pm
19 Jan 13
#

Antagonist said :

cranky said :

Deckard said :

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design.

Wasn’t that the urban myth of the glenloch interchange? Before the GDE was a glint in your mother’s eye…

This nonsense goes back even further to the design of State Circle around Parl House.

Wasn’t all of Canberra designed by an American architect named Walter Burley Griffin?

Marion Mahony Griffin and her husband, yes. She studied with Frank Lloyd Wright.

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23
JC 8:46 am
20 Jan 13
#

Spykler said :

The old Belconnen bus interchange was apparently based on an American design, but when we constructed it out here it was soon discovered that it worked way better if the vehicles drove on the right-hand side of the road..
Another Canberra Urban myth?- couldn’t say for sure…

100% an urban myth and depending upon how you view it they didn’t actually run on the wrong side of the road. The interchange was design with a central platform so passengers didn’t have to cross the road like they do now if they wish to change bus. As the doors are on the left of the bus this means the buses need to run to the right of the platform, just as they do on the road. It may seem they are going the wrong way, but in reality the roads down the side of the platform were separate one way streets. The same is also true for Woden and Tuggeranong Interhchanges, though not quite as obvious as Belconnen was due to their respective designs.

Admittedly when first built the buses DID run on the wrong side of the road on the Belconnen busway, this was for about 100m before Benjamin Way. This was so buses entering the interchange from the busway and those exiting onto the busway could turn at the same time. To do this there was a crossover next to the Churches Centre. This was later removed and buses entering and exiting then had different light phases.

Anyway even if you do consider buses went the wrong way through the interchange it is hardly an American design. If that design was used in America as is, yes the buses would be going the ‘right’ way, but their doors would be on the wrong side compared to the platform.

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24
JC 8:49 am
20 Jan 13
#

Antagonist said :

cranky said :

Deckard said :

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design.

Wasn’t that the urban myth of the glenloch interchange? Before the GDE was a glint in your mother’s eye…

This nonsense goes back even further to the design of State Circle around Parl House.

Wasn’t all of Canberra designed by an American architect named Walter Burley Griffin?

It sure was, NOT. He and his wife designed ALL of Canberra’s subrubs, including Woden, Weston Creek, Belconnen, Tuggeranong and Gungahlin. Way back then they knew that this city would be dominated by the car, so they designed all the roads and all the suburbs. Pretty modern thinkers weren’t they?

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25
bundah 10:14 am
20 Jan 13
#

Of course it would be too much for someone from TAMS to respond to all the valid concerns highlighted here on RA.But then again how does one defend the indefensible?

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26
AussieRodney 12:28 pm
20 Jan 13
#

JC said :

So have any of you bothered to provide feedback using the fix my street page on Canberra connect?

Yes, I have. Contact is usually pretty quick & activity does eventually take place.

To add to the list, on the GDE northbound over the Barton Highway, on the far edge of the bridge there’s a drop that can almost swallow a small car.

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27
youami 11:35 am
21 Jan 13
#

Well looks like the problems with the intersection at Edinburgh Av/Parkes Wy nr Nishi was realised today; a black Astra was T-boned whilst trying to do the change-lane shuffle. Not my car or accident but worth mentioning as it is only a week or so before everyone comes back to work.

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28
Madam Cholet 12:04 pm
21 Jan 13
#

youami said :

Well looks like the problems with the intersection at Edinburgh Av/Parkes Wy nr Nishi was realised today; a black Astra was T-boned whilst trying to do the change-lane shuffle. Not my car or accident but worth mentioning as it is only a week or so before everyone comes back to work.

Just regaling Monsieur Cholet about this new disaster yesterday. And I remarked how when the post Xmas traffic returns all hell will let loose as the change was made basically as work days petered out last year. I might start taking Constitution Ave instead. Oh wait, I can’t because that’s a complete disaster too right now.

Went down to have a look at the new lights at Conder (gosh I lead an exciting life!!), and I can confirm that yes, they are in a particularly stupid spot where two lanes start to become one. Not only will this ensure bingles between competing cars, but will also ensure that peak hour traffic coming home to Gordon and Banks will probably back up over the roundabout she the lights change.

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29
RadioVK 1:20 pm
21 Jan 13
#

Deckard said :

J0HN said :

I heard that the GDE was taken from an American road design.

Wasn’t that the urban myth of the glenloch interchange? Before the GDE was a glint in your mother’s eye…

I’ve also heard the same thing said about the old Belconnen mall car park. I think it was a pretty widespread urban myth at the time, and used to explain all sorts of crap road design.

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30
Loxmyf 2:13 pm
21 Jan 13
#

The one that gets me is the upgrade of the intersection of College St and Cooinda St in Bruce.

The intersection at Whelan St has been here for longer than I’ve been in Canberra, likely built when the houses in there were.

The Cooinda St intersection was a horrible intersection with one lane each way, lots of buses and no separate turning lanes. With a lot of newly licensed uni students using the intersection, it could get congested very quickly and accidents were a common occurrence..

A couple of years ago, TPTB decided to upgrade the College St/Cooinda St intersection. It was a long overdue upgrade. The trouble is, they didn’t align it with the unused portion of the Whelan St intersection 100m down the road. They ignored the pre-laid out divided intersection that had been there for at least 8 years and made the road angle back to single lanes each way (albeit with turning lanes).

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