11 December 2020

Have your say on Woden Interchange project

| Ian Bushnell
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Woden CIT and interchange

An artist’s impression of the Woden CIT and interchange, including the future light rail terminus. Images: ACT Government.

The community has only one week left to have its say on the Woden Interchange project, ahead of works beginning in 2021.

The four-week, pre-development application consultation concludes on 18 December, and the ACT Government is seeking feedback on areas of interest including but not limited to community impacts, access and technical feasibility.

The proposed design to replace the almost 50 year old bus interchange will integrate up to 18 bus stops and include a two-platform light rail terminus that will serve as bus stops until the network is extended to Woden.

New bus layovers and facilities for bus drivers will be situated on Launceston and on Easty Streets, and part of Callam Street will be a dedicated public transport hub for Woden, and the street will be closed to traffic from Bradley Street to Matilda Street.

The new interchange will need to be built before the current one can be demolished to make way for the new multi-storey Woden CIT.

An Estate Development Plan (EDP) is also being prepared to support the project, which will examine and describe potential changes to area boundaries and associated utility services.

Callam Street view

Another view of the project from Callam Street.

The government says community and stakeholder feedback will be considered by the project team to support the design and development of the new interchange, layovers and road upgrades, as well as contributing to the urban design guidelines that will determine the look and feel of the area.

Last month, the government sought expressions of interest from contractors to design and build the interchange, and hopes to shortlist tenderers in the first quarter of next year, award the contract by the end of the second quarter, commence construction in the third quarter with the new facility up and running in the first quarter of 2022.

Minister for Transport, Chris Steel said building a new on-street bus interchange on Callam Street was a key feature of the Woden Town Centre Master Plan.

“The new public transport interchange is a crucial project for the transformation of Woden Town Centre, to ensure Woden is ready for light rail, and to enable the new CIT campus to be built on the site of the current interchange,” he said.

“A new and modern Woden transport interchange will make public transport a more attractive, safe and convenient travel option, as well as enhancing Woden’s main street.”

The government has set up a virtual information room and people can take a survey by going to the project website.

“We will also be running a program of face-to-face pop-up information sessions in line with health advice, allowing the community to provide feedback and ask questions of the team in person,” Mr Steel said.

The government says it has engaged directly with key stakeholders including local residents and businesses, emergency services, TCCS staff and bus drivers, CIT staff and students, and the general community through face to face meetings, community pop ups and the Virtual Consultation Room.

All feedback received will be considered, informing the development applications for the new interchange, layovers and road upgrades, as well as for the ongoing project design.

The DAs are due to be submitted in early 2021, allowing for construction to commence on the bus layovers and road upgrades in mid-2021, and the public transport interchange later in 2021.

These approval processes offer the community another opportunity to have a say on the project and design features.

Further community consultation will be held early 2021 on the CIT project before a DA is submitted.

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HiddenDragon6:16 pm 11 Dec 20

The new CIT and bus interchange will doubtless be welcomed, but other changes flowing from this, including the closure of Callam Street to through traffic, look like another example of the abiding principle of Canberra town centre design – i.e. “how can we make this place as frustrating, confusing and inconvenient as possible?”

Closing off the road between the Police station and the Bus Interchange will have a major impact on traffic flows. That road takes many thousands of cars per day and carry’s by far the most cars of any internal Woden street.

Woden doesn’t have the road grid structure of most city centres, so I hope the design experts know what their doing.

I’m all for improving the Woden bus interchange but it looks like apartment developments have taken prime positions for car parking and building access and this will make it difficult to cater for all modes of transport (public and private).

Woden backroads are already a schomozzle during business hours.

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