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A walk through the Bowen Place underpass

By Paul Costigan 14 October 2015 25

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The Bowen Place underpass has been a long time in coming — and is very welcomed. It is a job well done.

I say that it was a long time in coming as for far too many years now people, as they travelled to and from Kings Avenue to the lakeside, have had to cross over two busy lanes of traffic. While there were speed limits on this traffic, most of the time it came from under the bridge at a speed inappropriate for the situation. It was a case of people and bikes having to watch out for the traffic that demanded right of way – or else!

So what did we get for $10 million dollars? As with all these infrastructure projects, most of the cash would have been expended on the engineering and associated road and bridge constructions. As per the brief, the final design was to fit in with all the many aesthetic and heritage aspects of this corner of the Parliamentary Triangle.

And of course, it had to make it safe of pedestrians and cyclists to make their way to and from the bridge. On this count, the new underpass is a total success.

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Aesthetically it had to be a good piece of landscape design while not introducing anything too radical. It has achieved this objective.

It is very pleasant experience to walk though the underpass. The connections to the bridge end as well as to the lakeside paths works beautifully – as if they have been there for ages.

Having said that, you still have to watch out for the occasional ill-mannered cyclists who dreams that they are part of le Tour de France. They swoosh passed without any notice and they rarely allow for a metre between you and their speeeding metal machines.

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My curiosity was taken by the piece of artwork set out in the great expanse of grass on the upper side of the underpass. It seems that they may have run out of ideas and planted a large expanse of grass that fulfills no real function except to demand regular maintenance. Unfortunately the metal artwork, which is a good piece of sculpture, looks lost out there on its own on the far side of the large grassed mound.

The new Bowen Place underpass is a good engineering and design solution to a problem that was well overdue to be addressed. It works wonderfully and looks great – and will be even better when the new plants have matured.

It was definitely worth doing. But was it worth $10 million dollars? Probably.

Have you had a look for yourself yet?

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
A walk through the Bowen Place underpass
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rosscoact 3:22 pm 23 Oct 15

Masquara said :

Anyone know why this thing took nearly three years to build?

It didn’t is the answer, half that. It took as long as it did because it was a local contractor with federal government supervision.

rubaiyat 12:53 pm 23 Oct 15

Mysteryman said :

churl said :

Mysteryman said :

I really struggle to see how this ACT government can claim this was $10m well spent, but spending $35m to upgrade the Barton Hwy roundabout into a flyover (which moves thousands, possibly tens of thousands of people daily) is too expensive.

I think that this would be National Capital Authority money rather than ACT Govt?

Good point. I hadn’t considered that.

There’s a first!

Now it is clearly the incompetent federal liberal government wasting our taxpayers money, you will of course be voting them out?

dungfungus 10:21 am 23 Oct 15

Skyring said :

HenryBG said :

tim_c said :

Seriously, a lot of those cyclists are commuting (ie. to and from work) – if you think the cyclists are ill-mannered when you interrupt their commute, .

Yes, as a motorist I also deeply resent being required by the terms of my licence to “interrupt my commute” and occasionally show some courtesy or just be safe by slowing down to drive at safe speeds when there are other people about.

Luckily, cyclists have no such licenced requirements and are therefore entitled to be as ill-mannered as they please.

What nonsense! Most cyclists also have drivers licences. Activities such as exceeding the speed limit or failing to give way or running a red light are as illegal on a bike as they are in a car, and attract appropriate penalties, including demerit points.

I don’t recall ever reading or hearing reports of any cyclist in the ACT being prosecuted or given an infringement notice involving breaking of any of the aforementioned road traffic laws and I challenge anyone to produce evidence to prove me wrong.

MERC600 10:19 am 23 Oct 15

Ezy said :

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

Ezy said :

“Having said that, you still have to watch out for the occasional ill-mannered cyclists who dreams that they are part of le Tour de France. They swoosh passed without any notice and they rarely allow for a metre between you and their speeeding metal machines.”

Having said that, you still have to watch out for the occasional ill-mannered pedestrians. They move so slowly whilst talking to their group of friends and take up the whole path without any notice of how much space they are actually taking up… It goes both ways.

In all seriousness. It is a beautiful new addition to the lake.

http://imgur.com/esAS1Ht

The photo depicts rusting panels and an abandoned bike.
Are you sure this is not a scene from contemporary Detroit?

??? The bike likely belongs to the person taking the photograph, but you probably know this.

Yeah, thats my bike… OR THATS MY WHIP as the cool kids would say.

WHIP ?? I must really get out more.

dungfungus 10:17 am 23 Oct 15

Masquara said :

Anyone know why this thing took nearly three years to build?

They used the GDE template?

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