Molonglo River Bridge step closer with call to industry

Ian Bushnell 1 October 2021 68
Molonglo Bridge crossing

An artist’s impression of the Molonglo Bridge crossing. The project is expected to be completed and open to traffic by the end of 2025. Photo: ACT Government.

The long-awaited Molonglo River Bridge is a step closer with the ACT Government seeking expressions of interest for the tender to design and construct the crucial piece of infrastructure to complete the arterial link between the new suburbs of the Molonglo Valley and West Belconnen.

The government says the detailed design phase is expected to commence in mid-2022 and take one year to finalise with construction commencing soon after. The project is expected to be completed and open to traffic by the end of 2025.

The bridge project will replace the single-lane Coppins Crossing, which is often closed due to flooding, and complete the 7.2 km dual carriageway John Gorton Drive from the Cotter Road in the south to William Hovell Drive in the north.

The bridge will span 227 metres across the Molonglo River but the project will also include 1.7 kilometres of roadway approaching the crossing.

The development application was approved in February.


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The EOI document says the project will include the design and construction of four traffic lanes, on-road cycle lanes, separate share paths, two new signalised intersections, road and bridge lighting, stormwater management, landscaping, landscape rehabilitation in the Molonglo River Reserve and other works.

It will also need to integrate with the planned Molonglo Group Centre, including shared path connections, bus stops, accommodation of a future light rail stop, a pedestrian underpass, a signalised intersection and tailored urban landscaping, as well as accommodating a future light rail corridor.

The project will also include the establishment of fauna habitats for native wildlife, including aquatic creatures.

Transport and City Services Minister Chris Steel said the project would create more than 500 jobs during the design and construction.

“The construction of the Molonglo River Bridge and completion of John Gorton Drive will transform the Molonglo region and better connect the northern suburbs of Molonglo including Denman Prospect and Whitlam to the rest of the Molonglo Valley,” he said.

Mr Steel said the project would provide a reliable connection for Canberrans who currently travel through Coppins Crossing to Woden and West-Belconnen.

“This is not just a bridge-building project. New arterial roadways leading up to the bridge and new intersections will be constructed, providing access to the future Molonglo Commercial Centre and the suburb of Whitlam,” he said.

“In addition to these major infrastructure upgrades, the project also includes important active travel links with off-road shared paths and on-road cycle lanes to encourage more Canberrans to jump on a bike to get to their destination.”


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Mr Steel said the bridge would also be important for public transport, supporting a future light rail connection as well as up to six new bus stops and bus priority at identified intersections.

The ACT and Commonwealth governments are jointly funding the $176.2 million project.

Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja said this project will provide a major economic stimulus to the Canberra region, including creating an estimated 560 jobs during the detailed design and construction phases.

“Projects like the Molonglo River Bridge are important to not only keep Canberrans employed and businesses running, but also to provide the Canberra community with better infrastructure connections and safer roads long into the future,” Senator Seselja said.

“The Commonwealth’s $87.5 million contribution to this vital project is part of our $1.8 billion infrastructure investment bonanza in new projects across the ACT since 2018.”


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68 Responses to Molonglo River Bridge step closer with call to industry
Craig Richardson Craig Richardson 8:41 pm 08 Oct 21

Curtis Richardson - update

Bren West Bren West 2:30 pm 08 Oct 21

Seriously. Why wod they not build this 1st before all the houses and cause another headache for communters?🤦‍♀️

Roger Boller Roger Boller 5:59 pm 07 Oct 21

Did core samples for this 3 years ago good to see its a priority this local government is a joke

Sue Bate Sue Bate 5:11 pm 07 Oct 21

Is there room for Eail?

Roger Shean Roger Shean 4:45 pm 07 Oct 21

Max Webster well there you go !

Kiara Barker Kiara Barker 3:31 pm 07 Oct 21

Neh Colleen Barker gone den unk👀👀

Nicola Kennedy Nicola Kennedy 11:47 am 07 Oct 21

Will we be getting tolls on it

Dominic Mackenzie Dominic Mackenzie 11:36 pm 06 Oct 21

Build it out of lego 🙂 get everyone to donate and mix it in the COncrete

    Pete Macca Pete Macca 11:10 am 07 Oct 21

    Dominic Mackenzie In 1980 they were to build it at a cost of $45 million, now its going to cost somewhere around $250 million or more, not what they recon now. Like the tram system they were to build in the 1980's at a cost of $600 million for 500 miles of track all over Canberra to the Bay, Cooma and Yass. But when they started this new tram system we got 12 kilometers for $1 BILLION and there will be no tracks built to the Bay, Cooma or Yass. For our Gov its about spending as much as they can, for the least distance they can get built. Like William Slim Drive in the 1980's it was $4 million to duplicate, but now its $30 million. They say that this bridge has to also have tram tracks in it for the future, probably in 2060 if its anything like the other tram tracks around Canberra.

Frances Carleton Frances Carleton 10:43 pm 06 Oct 21

I’m looking at that picture and wondering where the hell that road is going?

Dave Sait Dave Sait 10:06 pm 06 Oct 21

Used to go mushrooming in the paddocks on the left as you come out of the crossing. All gone to progress.

Warren J Grzic Warren J Grzic 9:49 pm 06 Oct 21

Eeek! I agree that the new bridge is needed, but couldn't it be built away from the carpark near the existing crossing instead of towering over it? Progress shouldn't really be like this.

B-Jay Brooks B-Jay Brooks 9:06 pm 06 Oct 21

Next episode of 'Utopia'.

Kerry Hodge Kerry Hodge 8:38 pm 06 Oct 21

If it is such a 'crucial piece of infrastructure' (their words) why has it taken this long just to get started and not be ready until 2024. Very poor planning!

Daniel 'Alphonse' Barbaro Daniel 'Alphonse' Barbaro 7:46 pm 06 Oct 21

Angus Pulford nearly there.

    Angus Pulford Angus Pulford 7:46 pm 06 Oct 21

    Daniel 'Alphonse' Barbaro so far away …..

Gerard Wyche Gerard Wyche 5:48 pm 06 Oct 21

About time they did something. Probably put back so they could build more train tracks that nobody will use.

    Peter Bucke Peter Bucke 10:03 pm 06 Oct 21

    Gerard Wyche Mr Barr is saving up for a bridge across the lake for his train set.

Charles Godworth Charles Godworth 4:45 pm 06 Oct 21

If the tram stop at mitchell cost $13m for a bit of concrete, imagine how much they'll stuff this job up. More likely it'll end up being a 1 lane bridge for cyclists and then 18 months later they'll remember to add more lanes

    Gregory Evans Gregory Evans 7:05 pm 06 Oct 21

    Charles Godworth .And probably award the contract to his unionist mates so they can take as long as they want.

Martin Ross Martin Ross 4:03 pm 06 Oct 21

Next they’d need to do one for Oaks Estate. That crossing is shut too often with rain

Maris Ozolins Maris Ozolins 3:58 pm 06 Oct 21

Gareth Burdon cannot see a wombat crossing!

Tim Pollard Tim Pollard 2:38 pm 06 Oct 21

I thought that bloody thing was already being built 2 years ago, guess not. So two big roads to no where currently (well a choke point anyways)

Benjamin Rose Benjamin Rose 12:51 pm 06 Oct 21

Why does it take so long to build a bridge? With all the renders they’ve put out you’d think the design process was already completed - not about to start.

    Stephen Rowley Stephen Rowley 1:01 pm 06 Oct 21

    Benjamin Rose competition for resources. There are many infrastructure projects happening around the country and only so many engineers.

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