Call for Molonglo River bridge to be fast-tracked

Ian Bushnell 11 May 2020 37
Molonglo River

An artist’s impression of the planned bridge across the Molonglo River. Photo: City Services.

The proposed $150 million Molonglo River Bridge Crossing should be fast-tracked as part of the ACT Government’s COVID-19 economic survival plan, according to the Weston Creek Community Council.

Council chair Tom Anderson has written to Chief Minister Andrew Barr calling for longer-term infrastructure projects to be brought forward to keep the ACT’s construction workers employed, singling out the John Gorton Drive Molonglo River Bridge Crossing Project that will serve the new suburbs of the Molonglo Valley.

”This project would link existing Molonglo suburbs with the new suburb of Whitlam and would also provide high-quality transport links between Woden, Weston Creek, Molonglo and Belconnen for many decades once completed,” Mr Anderson said.

“We see this project as an essential link to ensure all-weather access between Molonglo suburbs, as well as alternative access routes in times of high congestion or emergency.”

Mr Anderson said that if the Tuggeranong Parkway was blocked, as it is frequently, there was no alternative crossing west of Commonwealth Avenue Bridge apart from Coppin’s Crossing ”and if this is flooded or compromised there is none”.

John Gorton Drive Project

The John Gorton Drive Project is crucial to the Molonglo Valley. Image: City Services.

He said the development of further stages of Whitlam needed John Gorton Drive to be completed and this included the bridge.

”As well, this would facilitate efficient access between the commercial centres in Belconnen, Molonglo (when developed), Weston Creek and Woden,” Mr Anderson said.

City Services says the proposed bridge will span 227.5 metres across the region’s major river and be built above a one in 100-year flood level.

It says the completed arterial road and bridge crossing will also support public transport, active travel, including on-road cycle lanes and off-road shared paths, and a future light rail route.

Early design work is underway including geotechnical investigations, and development and service authority approvals. This is expected to be completed by mid-2020.

The bridge has been seen as the missing link in planning for the Molonglo Valley, with critics attacking the ACT Government for pressing on with the developing the new suburbs without the critical piece of infrastructure being funded.

As Molongo’s population grows the resulting traffic increases are also putting pressure on the Cotter Road and Tuggeranong Parkway, adding urgency to the completion of the John Gorton Drive project to provide a safe and efficient link to Belconnen.

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37 Responses to Call for Molonglo River bridge to be fast-tracked
rossau rossau 6:44 pm 15 May 20

Slow growth or no growth!
I too love Coppins Crossing.
The growth mindset dictates that I must forego this love for a bigger, bolder, more vibrant but congested and expensive Canberra.
Developers are stealing from the future and they’ve got much of the public on-board through investment opportunities.
Pause, think, what will your children do?

Sam Clements Sam Clements 9:37 am 14 May 20

How about duplicating past the airport?? Now all the trees have been taken due to the fire earlier this year, duplicate it all the way to Queanbeyan!

switch switch 10:00 am 12 May 20

So is there a good reason why John Gorton Drive doesn’t connect directly with Coulter Drive, instead of the silly dog-leg arrangement that’s there? This nonsense negates any savings of having a dual bridge over the river.

    Spiral Spiral 2:51 pm 12 May 20

    Of course there is a good reason.

    Their mates in the construction industry can make lots more money in a few years time by fixing it.

    It would seem blindly obvious that they are making a disaster.

    But I’m not an expert and will be happy if the future proves me to be wrong.

    JC JC 4:29 pm 12 May 20

    Not sure what the bridge and the intersection have in common, but for what it is worth there are plans to realign Coulter Drive to meet John Gorton Drive and the intersection was designed to cater for the easy realignment of Coulter Drive.

    I believe the reason it wasn’t done when they did the intersection relates to the lease of the land on the Belconnen side. And the reason they didn’t simply run John Gorton Drive to the existing Coulter Drive intersection relates to the amount of work that would have been required to rebuilt that intersection.

    Either way it is better than the original plans for Molongolo which had John Gorton Drive intersect about hallway between Coulter Drive and Bindubi Street.

Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 10:47 pm 11 May 20

Peak hour is slower. Well normally.

Philippa Nitsche Philippa Nitsche 7:40 pm 11 May 20

I live in Lyons & go to a U3A class in Flynn It takes no time to go by Coppin’s crossing This bridge would be amazing- the roadwork on north. side is almost complete

    Lindy Schaefer Lindy Schaefer 9:49 pm 11 May 20

    What are you doing at U3A?

    Philippa Nitsche Philippa Nitsche 12:11 am 12 May 20

    Lindy Schaefer doing art since last year Now having fun doing it online We tried Zoom but didn’t work !

James van Daele James van Daele 7:23 pm 11 May 20

No point federal Labor wants to decentralise the APS build it in Albury or Swan Hill. Who cares about Canberra not the politicians.

Christopher Mawbey Christopher Mawbey 6:59 pm 11 May 20

What's that bridge to no where thats already out there for then?

    William Noble William Noble 7:11 pm 11 May 20

    Christopher Mawbey That is a really cool pedestrian bridge and pipeline.

    The government actually did something smart. They needed to run a big sewer pipeline over the river and combined it with a pedestrian bridge.

    Currently the bridge doesn’t connect to much but presumably will in the future.

    Ed N Joanne Towner Ed N Joanne Towner 7:14 pm 11 May 20

    It is a pedestrian access bridge for connecting either side of Molonglo suburbs to be. Can't remember the exact details it is just what i recall reading when it opened. It is actually a nice walk and view. Hope that helps The bridge also has a sewerage pipe running along side ...

    Craig Collins Craig Collins 7:15 pm 11 May 20

    That’d be Butters bridge. It’s for pedestrians, built mainly to carry a sewer main from the Molonglo valley to the Belconnen treatment works as it crosses the river.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:18 pm 11 May 20

    Christopher Mawbey it’s carries poo. It’s actually a bridge for the sewerage line and a pedestrian/bike track on top.

    Ed N Joanne Towner Ed N Joanne Towner 7:27 pm 11 May 20

    William Noble Great view up and down the river.

    William Noble William Noble 7:28 pm 11 May 20

    Ed N Joanne Towner yes, a fantastic view.

Anne Miller Anne Miller 3:10 pm 11 May 20

Coppins Crossing used to be a lovely picturesque spot where I walked my Samoyed dog in the early 80’s. So disappointed to see what it has become with dead trees and foul looking water. A new bridge may give it a chance to re-establish as a clean waterway !

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:21 pm 11 May 20

    Anne Miller Don’t think a bridge will help with the root cause which is less water hotter longer summers.

Colin Vivian Colin Vivian 1:17 pm 11 May 20

Makes more sense to prioritise this over the 8 bridges required for the tram to Woden.

Ben Newcombe Ben Newcombe 12:42 pm 11 May 20

Tom Bates was just sayin this yesterday then it pops up on Facebook.... swear google listens in on conversations.

Paul Leins Paul Leins 11:35 am 11 May 20

Cost of borrowing is a record low. This is absolutely the time to do it

Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:54 am 11 May 20

The irony of people’s comments is go back through riotact posts over the years and look at how many have said having John Gorton Drive duplicated from day dot was a waste of money as it was not “needed”.

For what it is worth now is the right time for the bridge to be built.

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 11:08 am 11 May 20

    Ashley Wright correct. Couldn't agree more.

    Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 11:13 am 11 May 20

    Now is the day it should be opening

    Ian McTaggart Ian McTaggart 10:46 pm 11 May 20

    Bill Gemmell couldn't agree more. But then you and I are of one mind on lots of things.

Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 10:48 am 11 May 20

Can’t rush these things. Gunghalin has waited 20 years for full duplication of Gundaroo drive. Don’t expect this anytime soon

    Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 10:50 am 11 May 20

    Richard Willcoxson but the narrow single lane Gundaroo Dr is an all weather road, at least.

    Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 10:51 am 11 May 20

    Don’t know if that would be enough for them to speed up such a project

    Matt White Matt White 2:17 pm 11 May 20

    ”20 years” might be a stretch but I agree with your point about better forward planning and investment was needed years ago.

    Richard Willcoxson Richard Willcoxson 2:20 pm 11 May 20

    Matt White lived in ngunnawal 20 years ago. Have they finally completed the duplication?

    Matt White Matt White 4:15 pm 11 May 20

    Richard Willcoxson my point was you didn’t need a duplication 20 years ago - only been “needed” for 5-10 years as the population rapidly expanded. Hence I’m agreeing with you that it should have been completed years ago.

Nick Anderson Nick Anderson 10:27 am 11 May 20

Long overdue. With the development & population boom in Molonglo valley, that little crossing is just a nightmare of a traffic choke point waiting to happen.

Tod Davis Tod Davis 10:10 am 11 May 20

Would this replace the Coppins Crossing causeway?

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:53 am 11 May 20

It will also give the firefighters quicker access to Denman Prospect when the next 20 year bushfire from the NW comes through.

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