Concept designs to complete the duplication of Athllon Drive have been released, in what the government says will be a major transport infrastructure project for the southside.
It will take another five years before there will be four lanes along the length of Athllon Drive from Woden to Tuggeranong but the result will mean faster and safer journeys for both bus travellers and private motorists, says Transport Minister Chris Steel.
”This is as much a public transport project as it is about improving the route for private vehicles,” he said.
The two-part project, expected to cost up to $75 million, will include new bus stops so residents in north-east Kambah and Wanniassa can catch the main R4 and R5 buses using the route, and priority signalling that should shave at least two minutes off the trip into and out of the city.
The first section will be the 3 km of the remaining single carriageway between Shea Street and Melrose Drive in Phillip, followed by the section between Sulwood Drive and Drakeford Drive in Kambah.
More than 14,000 vehicles travel on Athllon Drive per day, including nearly 2,000 per hour in the peak periods, and the works would be needed not just to reduce the amount of accidents on the road – 900 in seven years – but to cater for expected growth in the Woden and Tuggeranong valleys.
Mr Steel said the Phillip works would facilitate land release around Mawson and Phillip in coming years as well as cater to buses coming in and out of the Woden Bus Depot when it comes online, as well as supporting the broader Phillip business district.
New traffic lights will also be installed at Melrose Drive, Parramatta Street and Atkins Street.
The project will also include several intersection upgrades, new active travel infrastructure and prioritise public transport with a dedicated northbound bus priority lane through Phillip and several bus priority intersections.
In the south, part-time traffic signals are proposed on Athllon Drive at the Sulwood Drive roundabout where a new underpass is planned so bikes can access the Tuggeranong to City cycleway.
“The safety of vulnerable road users, cyclists and pedestrians is front of mind with plans to include improved path connections, on-road cycle lanes and intersection upgrades,” Mr Steel said.
The government is seeking public feedback on the concept designs before progressing to the two-year $5.2 million detailed design stage ahead of construction, which is expected to take three years.
Meanwhile, the government says detailed design work is underway for the duplication of William Hovell Drive connecting West Belconnen to the City, and design and community engagement is underway on improvements to the Monaro Highway starting with upgrading the Lanyon Drive interchange to include a southbound flyover.
In the north of Canberra, a construction tender will soon be released for the duplication of the road connecting Belconnen and Gungahlin between the Barton Highway and Ginninderra Drive, with works expected to start later this year.
Mr Steel said the government had a $14 billion infrastructure program.
”We won’t be stepping back from what Canberra needs,” he said, saying the projects create jobs at a time they are needed most.
The ACT election will take place on 17 October, with pre-poll voting from 28 September.