6 October 2023

Main construction works set to begin on one of the ACT's most dangerous roads

| Claire Fenwicke
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Lanyon Drive and Monaro Highway intersection

Major construction works will finally begin at the Lanyon Drive interchange to the Monaro Highway. Photo: Google Maps.

Construction works to make the Monaro Highway safer and easier to use are set to begin in 2024, with the detailed design and construction contract secured by a Canberra company.

The $70 million contract has been awarded to Woden Contractors to deliver the Monaro Highway Upgrade Project at the Lanyon Drive interchange just south of the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC).

The contract includes a new southbound flyover of the Monaro Highway over Lanyon Drive, a new widened bridge on the northbound carriage over Dog Trap Creek and upgrading the highway road pavement from David Warren Road to Sheppard Street.

Transport Minister Chris Steel described the works as “critical” to improving the safety of the highway.

“The intent is to remove those dangerous, at-grade intersections – some of which are uncontrolled, some of which have traffic lights – to make sure this is a safer road … It shouldn’t be the case that on a major highway like this that you have so many intersections [that allow] traffic to just turn across the highway,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen some very high-profile accidents and tragedies over the last few years on the Monaro Highway, and that’s now why we’re getting on with the works to make sure we’ve got safer highways for people to use.”

Monaro Highway upgrades map

The $70 million contract covers parts of the Monaro Highway upgrades at the Lanyon Drive interchange, with other elements to go out to tender next year. Photo: Supplied.

Preparation works for the project have already been completed, including new overtaking lanes on the rural section of the Monaro Highway between Old Cooma Road and Williamsdale Road and the relocation and protection of major water mains and telecommunication networks near Lanyon Drive.

The relocation of two gas mains is expected to be completed in the coming months to allow the main construction works to get underway.

The works are expected to start in 2024 and will take about three years to complete.

This includes bringing in pre-constructed concrete sections of two bridges and overlay asphalt work.

Woden Contractors managing director Ben Helmers said the local team was excited to deliver such an important project for the region.

“This is probably almost double the size of most of the projects that are usually delivered by TCCS, and so yes, it’s a bit bigger and over a three-year period, but we’ve done this sort of work before and we’re really confident,” he said.

“There’s always weather and other delays, but we’ve got the resources and we’re ready to go.”

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The contract doesn’t include another major package of works for the interchange.

Plans for removing traffic lights at the AMC, the extension of David Warren Road to Lanyon Drive, and a new roundabout and signalised intersection connecting to a new Monaro Highway off-ramp and Sheppard Street are still subject to environmental and other approvals.

“[This] will act as an exit for southbound traffic onto Lanyon Drive and Sheppard Street in Hume. That’s subject to a range of different environmental approvals that we’re still working through and we’re expecting to go out to tender for those works next year.

“[The Monaro Highway] consistently rates as one of the most dangerous roads in the ACT, and that’s why both [the Territory and Federal] governments are so committed to making safety improvements [to this area].”

The landscaping plans will be finalised during the detailed design phase but will focus on local and native species, prioritise tree planting, biodiversity conservation and water-sensitive urban design.

Chris Steel with Dave Smith

ACT Transport Minister Chris Steel discussing the improvements with Federal Bean MP Dave Smith. Photo: Supplied.

Conversations are also underway between the Federal, Territory and NSW Governments, as well as the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, on future plans for the roadway.

This includes addressing the intersections onto the highway from Tralee Street and Mugga Lane and down to the Isabella Drive roundabout where a potential future connection to the Monaro Highway could be created to Googong.

“We’ll be looking at each of those intersections and how we can improve safety,” Mr Steel said.

“By improving safety, we may be able to improve travel times as well.”

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The previous works on the Monaro Highway upgrade already completed were part of a program of works jointly funded between the ACT and Federal governments.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Catherine King said it was important to invest in works that would support growing populations, reduce congestion and improve travel times.

“This project will provide a major economic stimulus to the Canberra and Monaro region, including an estimated 700 jobs to be created during the detailed design and construction phases,” she said.

“Projects like this are important to not only keep local people employed and businesses running but also to provide the region’s community with better infrastructure and safer roads into the future.”

For more information on the project, visit Built for CBR.

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William Newby6:51 am 01 Dec 23

Hard not to be cynical here, the big signs promising to make these roads safer went up 4 years ago, just before our last election.
Right on cue, with an election now less than a year away, more promises.
Worse still these upgrades don’t even address the most dangerous areas along Hume where there is at least one serious accident every month.

To be finished in 2085

Another half-arsed project of the Barr Government. Ignore the need for upgrading the Northbound carriageway and Northbound exit from Lanyon Dr to the highway, which will continue to merge dangerously into the right hand lane which will get worse as more houses get built in Tralee and Googong. Yet another waste of taxpayers’ money when it costs us many times more and additional inconvenience when they build it in a few years time instead of doing it right the first time.

Capital Retro7:31 pm 30 Nov 23

There are many white poplars there and they should go as they are very invasive.

David Millar5:28 pm 30 Nov 23

So, this ‘progress’ will see the chopping down of all the beautiful poplars in the lovely little copse at the present intersection. 🙁 That’s not progress, just vandalism.

Capital Retro6:10 pm 30 Nov 23

There are many white poplars there and they should go as they are very invasive.

Isn’t this area also the projected site for the Tuggeranong cemetery and crematorium – and if so won’t the access to it have to be taken into account as well?

Election coming. Look busy or at least relevant.

Gregg Heldon8:44 am 07 Oct 23

Less than 12 months out from an election. Not really done anything for the people of Tuggeranong during this election cycle of note except made their lake more blue-green. We’ve had those pesky purple road improvement signs up for a few years now. Best restart the project after doing a bit of sewage work and cutting down a few trees LAST year.
Hopefully, that’ll keep our two Labor and one green MLAs in for another term. Might even finish it by the next election after this one.

About time this got underway. I’m sick of seeing the signs at Fyshwick and Hume telling us you’re going to upgrade this road. And 3 years hey? I’m guessing the duplication of Athllon drive sign will still be there when Chris Steele gets his pension.

Imo the flyover is not necessary and a waste of tax payer money. You can improve traffic flow by improving the existing roads onto two traffic lights one at number 3 and another one at 5&6 and the round about at 4, (and removal of 7 as planned).

How about improving safety and travel time for pedestrians on the most dangerous roads in the ACT? Example – Canberra Avenue Griffith, where there is no pedestrian crossing and no flyover to get into Kingston.

Even Canberra Avenue Fyshwick (which is a known black spot every year) risks pedestrians lives by forcing them to stop in the middle of the road with heavy traffic rushing past them, because the traffic lights do not allow enough time for people to get all the way across the road without going against the lights.

The needs of a person walking are just as important as a person in a car or on a bike. Their time and safety is ignored, despite being just as important. We’re all people and deserve equal attention. People driving cars should not always come before people without a vehicle.

I think you’ll find it’s two sets of lights (AMC + Lanyon drive) which should make a big difference. Not sure why it’s going to take 3yrs though..

The original plan was to remove all the lights from the highway and make it flyovers to make it quicker. We’ve just removed one set of lights, and kept everything else.
This isn’t really a win.
The other intention is that it would enable higher speed though the section. Clearly that won’t be on the cards.

I think you’ll find it’s two sets of lights (AMC + Lanyon drive) which should make a big difference. Not sure why it’s going to take 3yrs though..

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