Gungahlin Drive closure this morning

H1NG0 11 January 2010 23

Driving to work this morning, part of Gungahlin drive was blocked off just past the Gungahlin Lakes intersection and before the first roundabout. Been looking around on the internet but haven’t found out why it was closed. Anyone have any information? Caused quite a bit of traffic disturbance as this is a pretty major artery for people in Ngunnawal, Casey and Nicholls and there is no quick detour.


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23 Responses to Gungahlin Drive closure this morning
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youami youami 12:54 pm 13 Jan 10

H1NG0 said :

youami, I think you are right that roads shouldn’t be built dual lane by default in the outer new suburbs. Roads should expand with population and demand, but in the case of the GDE, this is connecting major areas of Canberra and is supposed to be an alternative to Northbourne Avenue. Not making that dual lane is a joke and an embarrassment. We are talking about connecting thousands of people from one side of Canberra to another.

As for alternative routes, there are alternative routes but not all of those are viable options. I have lived here for quite a few years now and know the area well. The section of road where the accident occurred is the only way through Gungahlin Lakes golf course. This story wasn’t a whinge and I wasn’t concerned by the delay. I’m not exactly all that keen to get to work on a Monday 🙂

Fair point, I don’t live in Gungahlin so maybe the alternatives are not ideal, just my observations and my interest/hobby in road and town planning. And I do agree that the GDE should have been dual carriageway from the start. I won’t argue that point, even though it really is Glenloch that is the problem not the GDE itself. But it is my understanding that ‘they’ were going to make it dual carriageway from the start but the legal action against the government re: O’Connor Ridge meant the money to duplicate was spent up in court defending the road. And apparently, it was also soaked up the money that was earmarked to build a bypass around the airport past Fairbairn. But that could all be hearsay.

Helen Helen 11:34 am 13 Jan 10

youami said :

Ok I was probably affected by the heat today…

I know what you mean about the heat!

I know roads cost a lot – and I like your point that maybe the government just didn’t have the money to build a dual carriageway. Although I’m kinda ashamed to admit it, that actually never occurred to me. I’m glad that they at least left room for duplication in the future. But maybe it’s something that they could think about when (if) planning suburban areas as large as Gungahlin in the future, and work it into their budget. Because it is definite that there is going to be a lot of development out in that section of Gungahlin in the near future – it’s just dependent on when the government releases land. (Personally, I wish they’d release a lot of it and soon – a big glut of land available on the market might make things a bit more affordable!)

Anyway, it’s all a bit pointless because Gungahlin Dr is already built. I just hope that there aren’t any more accidents. Maybe they need to lower the speed limit to 70km/h – because that’s the speed the majority of people do along there and it’s the impatient people wanting to do the speed limit that are the biggest risk.

H1NG0 H1NG0 9:08 pm 12 Jan 10

youami, I think you are right that roads shouldn’t be built dual lane by default in the outer new suburbs. Roads should expand with population and demand, but in the case of the GDE, this is connecting major areas of Canberra and is supposed to be an alternative to Northbourne Avenue. Not making that dual lane is a joke and an embarrassment. We are talking about connecting thousands of people from one side of Canberra to another.

As for alternative routes, there are alternative routes but not all of those are viable options. I have lived here for quite a few years now and know the area well. The section of road where the accident occurred is the only way through Gungahlin Lakes golf course. This story wasn’t a whinge and I wasn’t concerned by the delay. I’m not exactly all that keen to get to work on a Monday 🙂

youami youami 5:01 pm 12 Jan 10

Ok I was probably affected by the heat today… :)… yes I was nit-picking peak hour… I did read the OP properly and rationally (H1NG0 you mention that there is no quick detour from suburbs) and I also read the comments about roads being blocked and bottlenecks etc etc and Gungahlin Dr is the only ‘major’ arterial out of three suburbs so all this suggests to me that the locals don’t believe there are alternative routes and therefore there is only one solution and that is to put in a dual carriageway.

Anyway, I appreciate that we are spoilt in ACT but that doesn’t make it right to expect it? After all, the nice roads were built before self-government for the most part. But I disagree that they should make all roads dual carriageway from the start. If that is your solution Helen then I am interested to know where the money will come from to build them all. Roads cost money! Sure, they might cost more down the track but you still need money to build them. Unfortunately, it is a catch-22, build a dual carriageway in a paddock and then wait for them to come and build houses? Or plan for a dual carriageway and then when the road warrants it (and funding available) build it then. I think last time I read somewhere that it costs about $1,000 per metre to tar a road, then add construction, wages, engineering, planning, EIS, all from your rates and taxes, fees from schools, etc. etc. Any engineers out there know the cost to build a road including all costs?

spinact spinact 4:26 pm 12 Jan 10

Helen said :

But rather than putting in the dual carriageways from the word go and saving a bunch of money, time and disruption, they decided to go with the easy option of putting in a single lane road and leaving room for the expansion. A classic example of this is the GDE – if they’d just made it a dual carriageway in the first instance a lot of trouble would have been saved.

If they did that then they’d only be able to use it once as a “look what we’ve done” during an election. Anyone want to bet that duplicating Glenloch Interchange will be listed as an achievement at the next election?

Helen Helen 3:16 pm 12 Jan 10

youami said :

Peak hour? Don’t you mean peak 10 minutes? And as far as traffic volumes it is nothing compared to other Australian cities. There is no need to upgrade to dual carriageway. And besides, there are a multitude of alternative roads to get around. Let’s see: Mirabei Dr, Lexcen Av, Horse Park Dr, plus the connecting roads of Kelleway Av, Shoalhaven Av, Wanganeen Av, Curran Dr, Katherine Av, … Whinge whinge because the road you always drive on was blocked and had to change your plans, so typical of Canberrans who don’t think more than 1 metre beyond their bonnet. Live in a big city and you will soon appreciate that the roads in Canberra are fine. But no I hear the ranters say, let’s duplicate a road that has less traffic than the Kings Hwy or the Barton Hwy… and of course a road that is less important that the two highways… hmmm…

Sure, it isn’t a peak hour, but I think it’s fairly well accepted that whether the period of peak traffic lasts for 10mins or 2hrs the term for that peak period is peak hour.
Yes, there are alternative routes around Gungahlin – all of which are also single lane and have to deal with large volumes of traffic at peak times (better?). Taking these side routes isn’t a viable option just to avoid heavy traffic on one road – they all have traffic problems.
The government obviously knew when they were planning the area that the roads would need to be dual carriageways to deal with the volume of traffic when all the suburbs are populated (and I mean all – not just the current developed/developing ones). But rather than putting in the dual carriageways from the word go and saving a bunch of money, time and disruption, they decided to go with the easy option of putting in a single lane road and leaving room for the expansion. A classic example of this is the GDE – if they’d just made it a dual carriageway in the first instance a lot of trouble would have been saved.
I’m not placing more importance on these suburban duplications than others. Kings Hwy and Barton Hwy do need duplication. And yes, roads in cities such as Melbourne and Sydney are smaller and worse – but this is Canberra and we were spoilt by wide and (arguably) well planned roads. I just wish the ACT Government thought more about the future and less about cost cutting when planning the roads in new suburbs.

H1NG0 H1NG0 2:41 pm 12 Jan 10

youami, how about you read the posts properly and rationally. Nobody is having a whinge because the road was closed, or complaiing about alternative routes. This thread started because I was simply investigating as to what happened. Obviously it is a problem as there have been several crashes there in recent history and I have peronally seen many close calls. It hasn’t always been in peak periods either. It only takes one slow driver and one impatient driver to cause someone to overtake in that area.

youami youami 1:52 pm 12 Jan 10

Helen said :

eh_steve said :

Single lane theory comes home to roost? As a former Wanganeen avenue resident I think that road is fine as single lane, and as far as ‘coming home to roost’, that road has been there for a while. Most residents in every other capital city can handle far busier single lane roads, that part of Gungahlin Drive literally services the final suburb between Canberra and Holbrook.

I lived part-time in a house on a street off Wanganeen Ave for 18 months and I don’t believe that section of Gungahlin Dr is fine as single lane. Driving along there in peak hour is awful, especially when heading home in the evening trying to go through the form one lane just past the Gundaroo Dr intersection. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a worse accident – either there or on Gundaroo Dr.
Also, that part of Gungahlin Dr services more than “the final suburb between Canberra and Holbrook”. It services three large suburbs (Amaroo, Nicholls and Ngunnawal) with a fourth (Casey) coming along quickly, and I don’t know how many more in the future. Maybe when the road was originally constructed single lane was suitable, but it certainly isn’t now.

Peak hour? Don’t you mean peak 10 minutes? And as far as traffic volumes it is nothing compared to other Australian cities. There is no need to upgrade to dual carriageway. And besides, there are a multitude of alternative roads to get around. Let’s see: Mirabei Dr, Lexcen Av, Horse Park Dr, plus the connecting roads of Kelleway Av, Shoalhaven Av, Wanganeen Av, Curran Dr, Katherine Av, … Whinge whinge because the road you always drive on was blocked and had to change your plans, so typical of Canberrans who don’t think more than 1 metre beyond their bonnet. Live in a big city and you will soon appreciate that the roads in Canberra are fine. But no I hear the ranters say, let’s duplicate a road that has less traffic than the Kings Hwy or the Barton Hwy… and of course a road that is less important that the two highways… hmmm…

H1NG0 H1NG0 1:49 pm 12 Jan 10

Helen said :

eh_steve said :

Single lane theory comes home to roost? As a former Wanganeen avenue resident I think that road is fine as single lane, and as far as ‘coming home to roost’, that road has been there for a while. Most residents in every other capital city can handle far busier single lane roads, that part of Gungahlin Drive literally services the final suburb between Canberra and Holbrook.

I lived part-time in a house on a street off Wanganeen Ave for 18 months and I don’t believe that section of Gungahlin Dr is fine as single lane. Driving along there in peak hour is awful, especially when heading home in the evening trying to go through the form one lane just past the Gundaroo Dr intersection. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a worse accident – either there or on Gundaroo Dr.
Also, that part of Gungahlin Dr services more than “the final suburb between Canberra and Holbrook”. It services three large suburbs (Amaroo, Nicholls and Ngunnawal) with a fourth (Casey) coming along quickly, and I don’t know how many more in the future. Maybe when the road was originally constructed single lane was suitable, but it certainly isn’t now.

I’ll have to agree with Helen. I used to live on Wanganeen and I now live close by and it is a bottle neck. Remember there is a bridge for part of that section with armco fencing either side with no room for error. I have seen people make overtaking moves in this area countless times. They need to extend it to dual lane from the lights to the Wanganeen intersection.

PM PM 10:29 am 12 Jan 10

I know it isn’t the GDE, but it seems a greater proportion of roads in the “newer” Gungahlin area (relative to other parts of Canberra, even if the road has been there for a while) appear to be single lane than multiple. It’s just a bugbear of mine – the roads put in Canberra 30-40 years ago were IMHO much better planned for the long term interest.

Helen Helen 10:19 am 12 Jan 10

eh_steve said :

Single lane theory comes home to roost? As a former Wanganeen avenue resident I think that road is fine as single lane, and as far as ‘coming home to roost’, that road has been there for a while. Most residents in every other capital city can handle far busier single lane roads, that part of Gungahlin Drive literally services the final suburb between Canberra and Holbrook.

I lived part-time in a house on a street off Wanganeen Ave for 18 months and I don’t believe that section of Gungahlin Dr is fine as single lane. Driving along there in peak hour is awful, especially when heading home in the evening trying to go through the form one lane just past the Gundaroo Dr intersection. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a worse accident – either there or on Gundaroo Dr.
Also, that part of Gungahlin Dr services more than “the final suburb between Canberra and Holbrook”. It services three large suburbs (Amaroo, Nicholls and Ngunnawal) with a fourth (Casey) coming along quickly, and I don’t know how many more in the future. Maybe when the road was originally constructed single lane was suitable, but it certainly isn’t now.

eh_steve eh_steve 12:28 am 12 Jan 10

Single lane theory comes home to roost? As a former Wanganeen avenue resident I think that road is fine as single lane, and as far as ‘coming home to roost’, that road has been there for a while. Most residents in every other capital city can handle far busier single lane roads, that part of Gungahlin Drive literally services the final suburb between Canberra and Holbrook.

BenMac BenMac 9:40 pm 11 Jan 10

I drove past this at 7am this morning. Must have just happened because there were no emergencies services in attendance. Because the road was blocked, I, like many other motorists jumped the curb and drove onto the grass (the side without the bike path) to get around it. Everyone seemed ok as there wasn’t any hurry from the witnesses who’d stop[ed. Everyone was just standing/walking around.

From the tyre skids that are visible (although this is only me guessing), it looks like the car in the Ngunnawal/Casey bound lane crossed the centre line and impacted head on into the city bound lane. For those that know the area, it was right where the golf course has been doing some construction work.

Here: Google Map

TP 3000 TP 3000 8:49 pm 11 Jan 10

H1NG0 said :

I think it might be time they updated this section to divided dual lane all the way to Barton Highway, especially now that Casey is going up in a big way.

Well the ultimate plan is to extend Gungahlin Drive back through to the Barton Highway, it would intersect at Kuringa Drive.

Since there are plans & provisions to duplicate Mulligans Flat Road (dirt road north of Forde/Bonner). I would say the duplication of Gungahlin Drive North wouldn’t be too far off. But I suspect this work may be held off until work starts on the Casey Group Centre (North Casey/South Taylor).

But then again the ACT Government plans on making the main drag for Molonglo duplicated from day one & to eventually become a 3 lane each way road. While some areas have to wait 10 years+ for anything like this. So anything goes with any Government.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 6:42 pm 11 Jan 10

“There was a head on collision just between the roundabout and gungahlin lakes”

Which was at fault, the roundabout or the body of water? Glad to see no other object was involved.

(Flippant I know but it could be read that way 🙂

bd84 bd84 5:06 pm 11 Jan 10

It could be either Gungahlin Dr on the Ngnunnawal & Nicholls side which is one lane each way not separated or Gundaroo Drive between the Barton Hwy and Gungahlin Drive near Palmerston and Crace.

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 4:26 pm 11 Jan 10

H1NG0 said :

Am I missing something? The section where the crash occurred was single lane both way.

Maybe, maybe not. Since it’s a pretty popular topic on RA, and from the way it was worded, I interpreted PM’s comment to be a rant about the GDE.

damien haas damien haas 3:54 pm 11 Jan 10

the volume of traffic this road takes along its entire length justifies upgrading to dual carriageway. i wonder how many accidents are caused by momentary lapses in concentration leading to disastrous head on accidents.

H1NG0 H1NG0 3:40 pm 11 Jan 10

Am I missing something? The section where the crash occurred was single lane both way.

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 2:48 pm 11 Jan 10

PM said :

Ah… the single-lane-each-way idea comes home to roost.

Yeah, damn that road on which the accident didn’t occur!

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