Government to duplicate 4.5 kilometres of William Hovell Drive

Lachlan Roberts 18 September 2019 86
William Hovell Drive

William Hovell Drive between Drake Brockman Drive and John Gorton Drive is set to be duplicated. Photo: Ozroads.

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.

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.

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86 Responses to Government to duplicate 4.5 kilometres of William Hovell Drive
Vanessa Jones Vanessa Jones 10:09 am 19 Sep 19

What else does West Belconnen need, as it is growing?

Tamzen Armer Tamzen Armer 10:11 am 19 Sep 19

Light rail? Just a thought if they're already building...

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 10:41 am 19 Sep 19

    Tamzen Armer agreed. Civic to Belconnen and Kippax must be started before any more major upgrades take place.

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 10:56 am 19 Sep 19

    Ted Douglas Well the Liberals like to play politics on these things. Otherwise, the Belconnen to airport route would have been next to be built, but if they did that (because thats the next busiest route that needs light rail), the LNP would have a field day about Tuggeranong and the southside missing out again.

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 2:10 pm 19 Sep 19

    Ted Douglas I live in Tuggeranong and to be honest, we shouldn't be getting lightrail that far south as there is not the population density and it would take far too long to be viable. It needs to be built in the inner suburbs. Tuggeranong would be better served by Bus Rapid Transit for now, but no one seems to be talking common sense and its all political point scoring.

Kimberley Wilson Kimberley Wilson 10:18 am 19 Sep 19

Brad Wilson prepare for 3 years of roadworks 🤦🏻‍♀️

Em Carters Em Carters 10:19 am 19 Sep 19

Zachariah ohhhhhhh there’s gonna be some serious roadworks 😭💩

Shayne Borger Shayne Borger 10:27 am 19 Sep 19

Finally this is planning correctly for the future. Also need to duplicate Southern Cross Drive from Kippax and Drake Brockman Drive for the new suburbs like Gininderry etc. Dont screw it up Barr

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 10:39 am 19 Sep 19

    No, this is a vote buying gimmick which will add to peak congestion on Parkes Way, especially at the Civic roundabouts. Until they're dealt with, any outer upgrades are wasted.

    Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 10:40 am 19 Sep 19

    Waste of money. Nothing infrastructure about this

    Shayne Borger Shayne Borger 10:41 am 19 Sep 19

    Tim Cole agree with the need for Parkes Way to be upgraded too. Time to loose the roundabouts and make it a true expressway, priority for east west traffic

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 10:43 am 19 Sep 19

    The Parkes Way roundabout removals will cost in the order of $200-300 million.

    Andrew Dudley Andrew Dudley 11:18 am 19 Sep 19

    Tim Cole how will this add to congestion and do you use William hovel drive on a daily basis?

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 12:10 pm 19 Sep 19

    By increasing the traffic flow along William Hovell, it has the knock on effect of increasing congestion at the far end.

    It will provide some relief to William Hovell itself but the overall improvement will be negligible.

    Andrew Dudley Andrew Dudley 1:59 pm 19 Sep 19

    Tim Cole that doesn’t help me understand how it will create congestion at either end. It’s fine as it is especially with the lights put in and extra lane along that middle bit for a short stretch of road.

    Adding the extra lane will be great for getting stuck behind a slow truck or bus at the belco end heading south, it’s currently one lane that way until you hit the lights and it’s two lanes going north the whole way already and it’s only a bit backed up for me if i finish work when school ends. I genuinely don’t understand how it generates extra traffic anywhere as a result.

    Ian Nicholls Ian Nicholls 7:21 pm 19 Sep 19

    Andrew Dudley Tim was referring to how traffic traveling dataset gets to the bext congestion point further down the line. In this case being Parkes way. This happens every single time you improve a bottleneck via widening.

    As for increased traffic volume, it can also result in that because when it's faster it gets more traffic.... Even if it only gets you to the next bottleneck faster.

    There are actually a number of videos on YouTube explaining how people change behaviour when a traffic improvement is made and how sometimes the better thing tondo is to slow traffic down in some places to get better overall throughput.

Amanda Jayne Amanda Jayne 10:30 am 19 Sep 19

Joe Carmody more road works

Amy Louise Amy Louise 10:35 am 19 Sep 19

About time Stephen Shoesmith

Tim Cole Tim Cole 10:37 am 19 Sep 19

Aaaaand feed the traffic where exactly? Let's get the Civic end sorted first before we cram more traffic into Parkes Way...

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 3:13 pm 19 Sep 19

    Rather than getting personal about it. The upgrade taken on its own looks great, but every time a major change is made, it has a knock on effect across other parts of the road network.

    By getting traffic out of Belconnen quicker, it will arrive at the other choke points quicker. You've got major merge points at Coulter Drive, Glenloch Interchange and just past the Acton Tunnel before reaching a major traffic conflict at the Corranderk St roundabout.

    So, to answer your question, I do know a bit about the road and clearly a better understanding of the network wide implications for a 5km duplication than you appear to.

Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 10:40 am 19 Sep 19

Why? This is not infrastructure

    Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 11:13 am 19 Sep 19

    Lyndon Zoukowski actually road works are exactly infrastructure

    Andrew Dudley Andrew Dudley 11:18 am 19 Sep 19

    Lyndon Zoukowski what do you think infrastructure means without looking it up?

    Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 11:34 am 19 Sep 19

    Andrew Dudley well I tell you what my Rates $$ say. $50 more per f/n in 2 years. 🤔🤭

    Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 11:37 am 19 Sep 19

    Marc Edwards Great waste of $$

    Marc Edwards Marc Edwards 11:41 am 19 Sep 19

    Lyndon of course it’s needed, and your rates were going up regardless, the people of molonglo also need to be able to exit their suburbs along with the future strathnairn suburbs of west belco.

    Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 1:01 pm 19 Sep 19

    Adam Hughes see point

Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 10:40 am 19 Sep 19


Jack Hearps Jack Hearps 10:40 am 19 Sep 19

How about duplicating the loop road Kurringah Drive from Fraser via Spence to the highway ...

    Nic Danaher Nic Danaher 7:53 pm 19 Sep 19

    Jack Hearps that road was designed that way to slow the traffic. 😂

    Jack Hearps Jack Hearps 9:10 pm 19 Sep 19

    Nic Danaher .. by promoting headons and two major intersections.

Sam Nö Sam Nö 10:44 am 19 Sep 19

Shanae good news for your new commute!

    Shanae Elizabeth Shanae Elizabeth 1:18 pm 19 Sep 19

    Sam Nö oooh yay! I'm sure it will take a while but once it's done it will be awesome!

    Sam Nö Sam Nö 3:05 pm 19 Sep 19

    It'll make it so much easier than following people doing 20 under because they're scared of a hill

Andrew Dudley Andrew Dudley 11:20 am 19 Sep 19

The sooner the better, west belco is constantly expanding out.

Startmeup Startmeup 11:33 am 19 Sep 19

Silly question but what does duplication mean exactly? You might think it means doubling the number of lanes but think back to the original duplication of Majura Road at the airport. That exact word was used at the time and for the same reason, in recognition of the increase in traffic. The delivered result was not an actual road duplication but a few turn-off lanes and a 10kph speed reduction. Progress, politician style.

In my few years in Belconnen I have seen a number of rear enders just south of the choke point at Drake Brockman. I have watched human behaviour in action as drivers trundle along at 60 and 80 in the single lane 90kph zone, seemingly oblivious to the traffic banked up behind them. And we know what happens when the road widens into two lanes. Can we have a plain english duplication please.

    JC JC 1:52 pm 19 Sep 19

    I don’t recall Majura road being duplicated as you put it. I do remember some improvements and the Majura parkway but don’t recall them being sold as duplication.

    And in plain English duplication is adding a seperate carriageway. Though how many lanes that carriageway has is debatable though in the case of William Hovell Drive I would expect two lanes each way.

    Startmeup Startmeup 10:17 am 23 Sep 19

    Find and read the Canberra Times of the day. EXACTLY the same word used in the headline of the story. And yes I agree I would expect two lanes each way as well which is why I brought that old story up.

    JC JC 8:42 am 29 Sep 19

    Just looked in Tove and can fine no articles that mention duplication of Majura Road except some from the mid 80’s.

    The improvements they made prior to the Majura Parkway were just that improvements not duplication.

    And duplication could mean any number of lanes each 1. One each way on separate carriageways is still a duplicated road.

Jane Delaney Jane Delaney 11:46 am 19 Sep 19

Why on-road cycle lanes and shared pedestrian/cycle paths? Why not separate cars from bikes and bikes from pedestrians? It would improve everyone's safety.

    Matthew Beale Matthew Beale 12:24 pm 19 Sep 19

    Jane, it comes down to the speeds used on both paths.

    A cycle group, be it 10 or 40 strong, would not be advised on a shared path including walkers, slower riders and animals.

    I understand the want to separate bikes and cars, but to not allow bikes on on-road paths would cause more to drive and add to congestion currently (be it Canberra congestion for 15 minutes of a morning)

    Ryan Daniel Ryan Daniel 12:39 pm 19 Sep 19

    Matthew Beale so ideally a road for cars, a separated bike path, and another walking path I guess. But of the 2 speed differentials, which is greatest? That could be the deciding factor for where to split it into 2.

    Jane Delaney Jane Delaney 12:51 pm 19 Sep 19

    Matthew Beale I think you misunderstood me. I don't think pedestrians should share with cyclists.

    Cars, bikes and pedestrians should all have their own space, and I don't understand why separated, designated cycle paths are not included when roads are redesigned.

    I will not ride a bike on the road due to safety considerations, and placing pedestrians in the path of speeding cyclists is also potentially fraught with danger.

    Why not just give everyone their own space?

    Steve Quasi Hoppitt Steve Quasi Hoppitt 12:55 pm 19 Sep 19

    Jane Delaney if the cycle lane is not on the road they won't use it :)

    Jason Roberts Jason Roberts 1:45 pm 19 Sep 19

    Jane Delaney this is a high speed downhill section of road. There is already a cycle lane that allows for cycles speeds of 60kph. You do not want pedestrians mixing with cyclists at that speed. There is also currently no pedestrian access from the Kama nature reserve/Molongolo River.

    A shared path and an on road cycle lane in absolutely needed.

    Jason Roberts Jason Roberts 1:48 pm 19 Sep 19

    Steve Quasi Hoppitt would you drive on a 60kph road if you knew there would be pedestrians at any moment. You are complaining about a problem that doesn’t exist. Cyclists already ride the cycle lane on William Hovel straight past the traffic every day

    Matthew Beale Matthew Beale 5:53 pm 19 Sep 19



    1) Speed difference may be more or less between bike and car or walker. Bikes do anywhere between 10-70km/h.

    2) The on road has their own lane for a cyclist vs. Shared path is the same lane.

Mat Barber Mat Barber 11:58 am 19 Sep 19

John now you will have an additional lane to get stuck in a storm iwith Andrea whilst you're wearing a turtle neck

Lucas Atmanagara Lucas Atmanagara 12:04 pm 19 Sep 19

Obviously not heard of Induced Demand. That money would be better spent on public transport.

Shane Richards Shane Richards 12:35 pm 19 Sep 19

How about duplicating the last part of Athllon drive between Kambah and Wanniassa....oh that's right it's Southside...can't spend much down there...

    Shane Richards Shane Richards 7:12 pm 19 Sep 19

    Andrew Brien like thats ever going to happen...i highly doubt it will ever make it past the lake.

Steve Quasi Hoppitt Steve Quasi Hoppitt 12:53 pm 19 Sep 19

On road cycle lanes and off road shared path? Not both I hope.

    James Forge James Forge 12:58 pm 19 Sep 19

    Much more logical to make a cycle path near to it, return the road to a 100 zone as it once was and ban any vehicle not capable of doing at least 70 from using the road between 7AM and 7PM.

    Steve Quasi Hoppitt Steve Quasi Hoppitt 1:05 pm 19 Sep 19

    James Forge the ACT government ban something for safety reasons and common sense? Surely you jest.

    James Forge James Forge 1:07 pm 19 Sep 19

    The cycling lobby is just a little too strong in the ACT and want to put their members at risk by demanding their right to cycle ON a road instead of using the viable and safer alternative WHERE available.

    Steve Quasi Hoppitt Steve Quasi Hoppitt 1:18 pm 19 Sep 19

    James Forge yep. Welcome to Canberra, where you too can have your daily life dictated by 1.5% of the population

    Jason Roberts Jason Roberts 1:38 pm 19 Sep 19

    Great idea........Let’s mix pedestrians with traffic or 60kph cyclists downhill. 🤦‍♂️

    Steve Quasi Hoppitt Steve Quasi Hoppitt 1:46 pm 19 Sep 19

    I'd rather see the money spent on improving the cycle way between Weston and Casurina mean Cotter Road.

    James Forge James Forge 3:00 pm 19 Sep 19

    Steve Quasi Hoppitt Why? It's great to drive down that road on the wrong side dodging oncoming traffic.

    Steve Quasi Hoppitt Steve Quasi Hoppitt 3:05 pm 19 Sep 19

    James Forge barreling straight into a large group of cyclists could be fun, but unfortunately it would scratch the paint on my car.

Donna Morton Donna Morton 1:25 pm 19 Sep 19

Darren. Perfect. Can't wait to drive through a construction zone every day lol I'm moving to Gungahlin

    Darren Carson Darren Carson 1:29 pm 19 Sep 19

    Donna Morton so I’ll call the removals for you ?

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