28 July 2023

Commonwealth Avenue changes coming as Raising London Circuit works ramp up

| Ian Bushnell
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A new temporary road on the west side of Commonwealth Avenue will ensure two lanes of traffic in each direction are maintained during peak hours. Photo: ACT Government.

Users of Commonwealth Avenue will face traffic diversions from the middle of next month as part of works to create a level intersection with London Circuit.

The Raising London Circuit project is an enabling work for the extension of light rail to Commonwealth Park, and the ACT Government says the opening of a side track over London Circuit will be another milestone.

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It says this new temporary road on the west side of Commonwealth Avenue will ensure two lanes of traffic in each direction are maintained during peak hours, and will enable the next phase of the Raising London Circuit project to remove the southbound bridge on Commonwealth Avenue over London Circuit.

It is expected that from around mid-August, drivers heading north on Commonwealth Avenue towards the city will be diverted onto this temporary road across London Circuit.

Canberrans heading south towards the lake will be diverted to the current northbound Commonwealth Avenue bridge over London Circuit.

Once the southbound bridge is removed, fill will be added to build up the eastern side of London Circuit.

New permanent southbound lanes will be built on the raised section and another side track will be built on the eastern side.

Further traffic changes on Commonwealth Avenue are expected late this year or early next year, with northbound traffic to be diverted to the new southbound lanes and southbound traffic onto the new temporary road.

This will allow for the removal of the northbound bridge over London Circuit.

Transport Minister Chris Steel said the temporary roads would minimise disruption for road users but urged drivers to be alert and rethink travel plans.

“This is a significant milestone for the project as we start to see London Circuit being raised by six metres to be level with Commonwealth Avenue, which is essential to bring light rail to Commonwealth Park and then down to Woden,” he said.

“By using temporary roads to divert traffic, we can get work done whilst minimising disruption to Canberrans.”

Mr Steel said cyclists and pedestrians would still have access during construction, with a shared path separated from the vehicle lanes by traffic barriers on the western side track, as well as a cyclist lane heading southbound next to the diverted southbound traffic lanes.

“We said this project will be particularly disruptive this year and with this significant traffic change we urge all road users to be alert, slow down, follow traffic signs in the area, allow additional travel time and plan their journey,” he said.

“If you need to travel into the city, rethink your routine and consider doing it outside peak times, use public transport, active travel or use the Park and Ride or Bike and Ride facilities across Canberra.”

Mr Steel said Canberrans should also be wary of an increasing number of trucks in and around the city.

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To facilitate the opening of the side track, Commonwealth Avenue between Parkes Way and Vernon Circle will be closed from 6 pm Sunday to 6 am Monday – the day before the traffic switch starts operations.

Detours will be in place via Parkes Way to access the city, or alternatively Canberrans travelling from South Canberra can use Kings Avenue Bridge.

For more information on upcoming traffic changes and alternative travel options, visit the BuiltforCBR website.

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Some more thoughtful advice from the experts…..’if you need to travel into the city…….consider doing it outside peak times, use public transport….’ What, from the sticks ??…fair dinkum, where do you find these geniuses down there ?

As buses will take longer to travel through these temporary roads, the connecting buses in north and south interchanges need to be re-assesed. Already with the current arrangements, connections are being missed. With these new changes, bus travellers may have 30 minutes to even an hour longer to get home. Tonight we were lucky the connecting bus was late, otherwise it would have taken 1 hour 45 minutes to get from Treasury to West Belconnen.

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