Disappointment at no fast track but Molonglo River Bridge a small step closer

Ian Bushnell 21 August 2020 8
An artist's impression of the planned Molonglo River Bridge

Bring it on: An artist’s impression of the planned Molonglo River Bridge. Image: ACT Government.

The ACT Government has announced funding of $2 million to progress planning and approvals for the Molonglo River Bridge but has ruled out fast-tracking the $150 million project, disappointing community calls for the much-needed piece of infrastructure to be given priority.

City Services and Transport Minister Chris Steel said early design works had been completed for the project and the next stage would be detail design.

”The ACT Government is committed to building the Molonglo River Bridge as the third stage of John Gorton Drive connecting the Molonglo Valley with Belconnen and the City,” he said.

”Given the significant amount of approvals and design work required before this project can commence construction, it is not yet shovel ready and cannot be fast-tracked.”

Weston Creek Community Council chair Tom Anderson had written to the Minister for a second time calling for the project to be brought forward after the recent heavy rain flooded Coppins Crossing and an accident at the Glenloch Interchange brought the Tuggeranong Parkway to a standstill.

”This is the exact type of scenario that Council has warned about for several years now, and we can expect similar events of this scale to occur in the years ahead,” Mr Anderson wrote.

”Surely now the cost of these incidents and closures to the community and Government should bring about a re-assessment of the proposed timeframe for the new flood-proof Molonglo River Bridge.”

Mr Anderson told Region Media that the $2 million was a drop in the ocean and the slow pace of the project was poor planning, given population growth in the Molonglo Valley and that people will be moving into the new suburb of Whitlam next year.

”The government needed to start the detailed planning two years ago,” he said.

He believes the Government doesn’t want to bring the project forward because of the cost, and because it hasn’t factored in the budget for Light Rail Stages 2A and 2B.

The council views the bridge 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.

”It is disappointing to not only the Molonglo community but the wider Canberra community to hear that there is no plan to bring this project forward,” Mr Anderson told the Minister.

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8 Responses to Disappointment at no fast track but Molonglo River Bridge a small step closer
Jeff Smith Jeff Smith 10:52 am 23 Aug 20

Yep this bridge is going to be built one day, so may as well get it happening now. Too much of the planned and promised infrastructure for Tuggeranong took 30 plus years to be built (and still many of the original infrastructure promises have never been built). Delaying only ends up devaluing the entire area and costing much more money later when its finally built in amongst an operational community, so lets get this bridge off the ground.

Chris Newman Chris Newman 5:52 am 23 Aug 20

Builders build to detailed design drawings. No drawings not bridge

Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 7:28 pm 22 Aug 20

They are really kicking the can down the road on this one. My understanding from talking to people who moved in out there, the h were advised it would be underway by now. Recent flooding was inconvenient, but what if we have another bushfire emergency and need to evacuate these new suburbs and Duffy etc? What if something bad happens at Glen loch interchange? While the current Government is doing more planning, the other mob has announced zilch on this.

Lee Cannon Lee Cannon 6:35 pm 22 Aug 20

Another 2 million for planning . Just build it and stop wasting peoples money

    Alan Sargeant Alan Sargeant 10:48 pm 23 Aug 20

    Sorry but money spent on design and then commencement makes emminent sense to me. I was a transportation economist and to me building without a design is likely to add to greater expense, inefficenies and maybe something that doesn't meet the real demand.

Matthew Buchhorn Matthew Buchhorn 2:26 pm 22 Aug 20

I don't get why this needs to be fast tracked. People buy/bought there knowing there was no road

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 12:01 pm 23 Aug 20

    Bill Gemmell are yours from the Libs?

    But anyway it’s fairly obvious that from a demand perspective the road is not needed yet.

    But at least in this post you are not claiming a delay.

Shawn McIntyre Shawn McIntyre 10:29 am 22 Aug 20

It’d be great to see the tram infrastructure built along with it.

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