The ACT Government has released a tender to duplicate 4.5 kilometres of William Hovell Drive to improve commute times as new suburbs are developed in the Molonglo Valley and West Belconnen.
The section of William Hovell Drive between Drake Brockman Drive and John Gorton Drive, previously named Coppins Crossing Road, is the latest stage to be duplicated, with on-road cycle lanes and an off-road shared path expected to be part of the upgrades.
The tender said that section of William Hovell Drive is often congested during the AM and PM peak traffic times, and the congestion will only increase as the Molonglo Valley, the estate of Ginninderry, and the new suburbs of Strathnairn and Macnamara continue to develop and generate traffic.
The upgrade must remain within the existing road reserve as the important nature conservation areas of the Pinnacle Nature Reserve and Kama Nature Reserve that lie to the north and south of the road must not be encroached upon, the tender said.
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The project may also incorporate ecological corridors between the two nature reserve areas into the design, as well as roadside parking.
The tender also recommended a traffic study to determine the capacity of the existing Drake Brockman Drive roundabout and whether a signalised intersection should replace the roundabout.
With more than 20,000 vehicles using William Hovell Drive every day, ACT Minister for Transport Chris Steel said there is a clear need to improve commute times as new suburbs are developed in the Molonglo Valley and West Belconnen.
“We are providing significant investment into road and cycling upgrades to ease congestion, and keep Canberrans safe and moving around our city efficiently,” Mr Steel said.
“Canberra is growing and we’re committed to investing in our road network whilst also improving cycling, walking and public transport infrastructure, ensuring that Canberrans have a choice in how they commute and move around our city.”
Detailed designs will also be prepared in coming months to upgrade Morisset Road in Mitchell to support future development in the area. Morisset Road is currently 1.25 kilometres long and built to rural road standards, meaning it is only suitable for low volumes of traffic.
Mr Steel said the government is investigating upgrading the existing road to meet current design standards, extending it by 1.2 kilometres to the Antill Street/Federal Highway intersection and providing stormwater infrastructure on Sullivan’s Creek to reduce flooding incidents.
He said providing a link directly to the Federal Highway along Morisset Road will divert heavy vehicle traffic away from Flemington Road which will improve the safety of all road users.
The works will also include paths for pedestrians and cyclists directly to the future light rail stop in Mitchell.