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Never ending roadworks

By Roger Allnutt 30 November 2016 31

Road works ahead sign

Perhaps the most prevalent and frustrating sign in Canberra is ‘Roadworks Ahead’.  Every major road and a lot of minor streets appear to be under a continuous state of repair.

I have even come across places where a ‘roadworks ended’ sign is followed almost immediately by another ‘roadworks ahead’ sign.  For much of the time there often seems to be a distinct lack of any workers or repairs happening.

This state of affairs is a source of increasing irritation to drivers as they negotiate stop signs, detours, long queues and anger from other drivers.

To increase the frustration, the length of time taken to complete any task, large or small, is often inordinately long.  My favourite has been the redevelopment of Constitution Avenue in Civic.  I would estimate that this relatively small project took around 3 ½ years to finish with a succession of diggings, levelling, re-edging, re-paving all in slow motion.  Already there are claims from frustrated Action bus drivers that the turn from London Circuit into Constitution Ave is so tight that buses cannot turn easily or safely.

To compound the situation the revamped avenue has been opened onto busy Vernon Circle and, quite incredibly, traffic lights have been installed.  I hope that motorists heading south from London Circuit round City Hill will be aware of these new traffic arrangements. I hope there is no major accident (possible rear ending) in the immediate future.

Contrast this with an example from China where recently a bridge was demolished and a new one installed/constructed in 48 hours which was longer than expected due to some unexpected bad weather!

There are numerous other examples throughout the city.  I wonder who controls the work on these projects. Are Transport Canberra and City Cervices directing the program or are the unions having a major say?

There are other issues with roadworks that drive Canberra motorists to distraction.  The resurfacing of streets does not always lead to a better surface and often loose gravel is left for motorists to complete the bonding work as they drive over the surface – usually with the loose gravel crunching against the underneath of the vehicle.  Heavy rainfall seems to bring back the offending potholes with regularity.

Above all I suggest that there could be a moratorium on any new road works until the current program is completed.  Fingers crossed but I am not holding my breath.


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Never ending roadworks
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Chris Mordd Richards 11:00 pm 20 Jan 17

rommeldog56 said :

as I recall, there was protracted legal action taken by some Green group.

dungfungus said :

It was definitely a Green inspired movement

Just to clarify, in this context, Green group / Green inspired movement is meant to mean: a) ACT Greens political party; b) The Australian Greens political party; c) An environmental group composed of community members, environmentalists and possible some individuals who happen to also be Greens members?

Just want to be clear on that, as those 3 are entirely different things in this argument and I want to have the facts straight. Full disclosure, i’ve been an ACT Greens member since July 2016, just want to clarify who you are blaming here, thanks.

tim_c 12:09 pm 20 Jan 17

chewy14 said :

…And anyone who doesn’t think the final section of Cotter Rd needs duplicating has either:
a) never driven on the road or
b) is deluded

It’s long overdue, but I don’t see how it’s really going to help much – the traffic is still forced into one lane just prior to the merge onto Adelaide Ave, and then has to merge into existing lanes on Adelaide Ave (if Cotter Rd is duplicated, it needs to feed into Adelaide Ave in its own [new] lane).

The Cotter Rd merge onto Adelaide Ave is further worsened by:
1) the pointless traffic lights at Cotter Rd/Dudley St which seem to serve no purpose other than to make sure the traffic trying to merge onto Adelaide Ave is all bunched up and
2) there is little space between the vehicles on Adelaide Ave for Cotter Rd traffic to merge into because drivers won’t be informed “Don’t Tailgate” until they get to Vernon Circle!

chewy14 6:18 pm 07 Dec 16

JC said :

chewy14 said :

So if I want to construct something at my own house, you’d be OK with me not getting approval from a bunch of unelected local public servants in the ACT planning authorities? If they say jump, why do I have to say “how high”, surely I can negotiate to build whatever I want, wherever I want?

The NCA has planning responsibility here as the very links you’ve provided show and the ACT government itself argued. NCA approval was required as per the legislation.

Save the Ridge were clearly primarily responsible for the delays, with the inability of the ACT government to manage competing stakeholder requirements a long second.

Sorry but your home analogy is not quite right for three reasons.

Firstly if it is your home you are allowed to put forward a case to have your development considered, which is what the ACT government were doing.

Secondly when you put that case forward it should be listened to without political interference. Which did not happen.

Thirdly in the ACT the NCA doesn’t have THE SAY they have A SAY.

Sorry but 1 and 2 both occurred.

Your opinion about political interference is not backed up by any hard evidence, it’s no better than a conspiracy theory. If you have evidence of political interference, then you’ve uncovered a massive scandal.

As for 3, in this area, the NCA has the only say that matters, the final one. They have responsibility for planning matters here as the legislation and ACT government agree and your own links show. It’s not a matter that’s up for debate, responsibilities are clearly defined.

JC 2:14 pm 07 Dec 16

chewy14 said :

So if I want to construct something at my own house, you’d be OK with me not getting approval from a bunch of unelected local public servants in the ACT planning authorities? If they say jump, why do I have to say “how high”, surely I can negotiate to build whatever I want, wherever I want?

The NCA has planning responsibility here as the very links you’ve provided show and the ACT government itself argued. NCA approval was required as per the legislation.

Save the Ridge were clearly primarily responsible for the delays, with the inability of the ACT government to manage competing stakeholder requirements a long second.

Sorry but your home analogy is not quite right for three reasons.

Firstly if it is your home you are allowed to put forward a case to have your development considered, which is what the ACT government were doing.

Secondly when you put that case forward it should be listened to without political interference. Which did not happen.

Thirdly in the ACT the NCA doesn’t have THE SAY they have A SAY.

chewy14 5:37 pm 06 Dec 16

JC said :

chewy14 said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Then the government build molongolo with a dual lane roads gets accused of waste and then announced the duplication of the final section of cotter road and people question is it really needed.

As for GDE still surprised how short people’s memories are with that road specifically the dealys caused by the Federal (Liberal government). That caused about 3 years of delay extra costs and a court battle that went to the highest court in the land. That’s the reason it needed duplicating the moment it was finished.

It was only 1 or 2 isolated, ill informed posts querying why the duel lanes/duplication was necessary. Thats no reason to get all defensive over the OPs comments about duel lane roads in Gunners.

Re GDE duplication : as I recall, there was protracted legal action taken by some Green group. They lost and hopefully had to sell everything, including their houses, to help meet the ACT Govt costs.

Thanks for clarifying that.
I don’t recall the NCA or John Howard demonstrating against the GDE route either. It was definitely a Green inspired movement who as you said, lost a lot of money when their case fell over in court.
If it was today, people would be blaming Tony Abbott or Donald Trump.

Really, the NCA didn’t oppose the western alignment of the GDE? Hmm can you please explain these documents? The second one even talks about the allegations of political interference. Denies them of course, but I do post this to quite clearly show that there were objections from the NCA and that there were political tensions around the routing and look no mention of the greens…

And the the subsequent battles with save the ridge came about from the Eastern alignment, that rightly or wrongly was foist upon the government by the NCA.

And also remember that Gungahlin Drive was first proposed by the Liberal government, who had a preference for the eastern alignment (which is what it is now), but Labor wanted the Western alignment to avoid the environmental impacts that would come from running along the ridge. And BTW the Liberal party proposal was also single lane, duplicated later too.

But let us not let truth get in the way shall well. That is not the Trump or Abbott way.

https://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/attachments/article/2660/GDE.pdf

http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=ncet/nca/report/chapter6.pdf

Um, I think you’re rewriting history a bit here.

The NCA have responsibility for this type of planning in this area, so the fact that the ACT government preferred a different route is irrelevant, they needed NCA approval, so it was up to them to provide the case to determine a preferred route as well as managing completing stakeholder concerns over whichever route was chosen.

The NCA didn’t cause the delays in it’s construction, the ACT government’s inability to manage stakeholder concerns and the approvals process as well as the Save the Ridge group’s unsuccessful legal challenge did.

If you want to apportion blame for the delay, Save The Ridge would be first by a mile, followed by the ACT government, with the NCA trailing a distant last.

So you are saying the local government has no say, nor right of negotiation over an un-elected body of Federal public servants? If the NCA says jump they ask how high? Right?

So if I want to construct something at my own house, you’d be OK with me not getting approval from a bunch of unelected local public servants in the ACT planning authorities? If they say jump, why do I have to say “how high”, surely I can negotiate to build whatever I want, wherever I want?

The NCA has planning responsibility here as the very links you’ve provided show and the ACT government itself argued. NCA approval was required as per the legislation.

Save the Ridge were clearly primarily responsible for the delays, with the inability of the ACT government to manage competing stakeholder requirements a long second.

JC 3:37 pm 06 Dec 16

chewy14 said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Then the government build molongolo with a dual lane roads gets accused of waste and then announced the duplication of the final section of cotter road and people question is it really needed.

As for GDE still surprised how short people’s memories are with that road specifically the dealys caused by the Federal (Liberal government). That caused about 3 years of delay extra costs and a court battle that went to the highest court in the land. That’s the reason it needed duplicating the moment it was finished.

It was only 1 or 2 isolated, ill informed posts querying why the duel lanes/duplication was necessary. Thats no reason to get all defensive over the OPs comments about duel lane roads in Gunners.

Re GDE duplication : as I recall, there was protracted legal action taken by some Green group. They lost and hopefully had to sell everything, including their houses, to help meet the ACT Govt costs.

Thanks for clarifying that.
I don’t recall the NCA or John Howard demonstrating against the GDE route either. It was definitely a Green inspired movement who as you said, lost a lot of money when their case fell over in court.
If it was today, people would be blaming Tony Abbott or Donald Trump.

Really, the NCA didn’t oppose the western alignment of the GDE? Hmm can you please explain these documents? The second one even talks about the allegations of political interference. Denies them of course, but I do post this to quite clearly show that there were objections from the NCA and that there were political tensions around the routing and look no mention of the greens…

And the the subsequent battles with save the ridge came about from the Eastern alignment, that rightly or wrongly was foist upon the government by the NCA.

And also remember that Gungahlin Drive was first proposed by the Liberal government, who had a preference for the eastern alignment (which is what it is now), but Labor wanted the Western alignment to avoid the environmental impacts that would come from running along the ridge. And BTW the Liberal party proposal was also single lane, duplicated later too.

But let us not let truth get in the way shall well. That is not the Trump or Abbott way.

https://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/attachments/article/2660/GDE.pdf

http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=ncet/nca/report/chapter6.pdf

Um, I think you’re rewriting history a bit here.

The NCA have responsibility for this type of planning in this area, so the fact that the ACT government preferred a different route is irrelevant, they needed NCA approval, so it was up to them to provide the case to determine a preferred route as well as managing completing stakeholder concerns over whichever route was chosen.

The NCA didn’t cause the delays in it’s construction, the ACT government’s inability to manage stakeholder concerns and the approvals process as well as the Save the Ridge group’s unsuccessful legal challenge did.

If you want to apportion blame for the delay, Save The Ridge would be first by a mile, followed by the ACT government, with the NCA trailing a distant last.

So you are saying the local government has no say, nor right of negotiation over an un-elected body of Federal public servants? If the NCA says jump they ask how high? Right?

JC 2:04 pm 06 Dec 16

devils_advocate said :

JC said :

But let us not let truth get in the way shall well. That is not the Trump or Abbott way.

https://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/attachments/article/2660/GDE.pdf

http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=ncet/nca/report/chapter6.pdf

I seem to remember at the time there was some supposedly environmental group protesting the route of the GDE on O’Connor ridge. Some environmental reasons were put forward but basically it was just residents engaging in some strategic NIMBY-ing. Fair enough too, some of them would have paid a bomb for their houses and then the government runs a massive highway up the back of it.

When you’re getting along at 100kph a smallish diversion doesn’t make a big difference.

Chain of events.

Liberal government proposes GDE selects eastern alignment. Conflict with save the ridge.

Election, Labor government elected, chooses western alignment on environmental grounds, conflicts with NCA and AIS.

Forced to take eastern alignment, conflict and course case with save the ridge.

chewy14 11:12 am 06 Dec 16

JC said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Then the government build molongolo with a dual lane roads gets accused of waste and then announced the duplication of the final section of cotter road and people question is it really needed.

As for GDE still surprised how short people’s memories are with that road specifically the dealys caused by the Federal (Liberal government). That caused about 3 years of delay extra costs and a court battle that went to the highest court in the land. That’s the reason it needed duplicating the moment it was finished.

It was only 1 or 2 isolated, ill informed posts querying why the duel lanes/duplication was necessary. Thats no reason to get all defensive over the OPs comments about duel lane roads in Gunners.

Re GDE duplication : as I recall, there was protracted legal action taken by some Green group. They lost and hopefully had to sell everything, including their houses, to help meet the ACT Govt costs.

Thanks for clarifying that.
I don’t recall the NCA or John Howard demonstrating against the GDE route either. It was definitely a Green inspired movement who as you said, lost a lot of money when their case fell over in court.
If it was today, people would be blaming Tony Abbott or Donald Trump.

Really, the NCA didn’t oppose the western alignment of the GDE? Hmm can you please explain these documents? The second one even talks about the allegations of political interference. Denies them of course, but I do post this to quite clearly show that there were objections from the NCA and that there were political tensions around the routing and look no mention of the greens…

And the the subsequent battles with save the ridge came about from the Eastern alignment, that rightly or wrongly was foist upon the government by the NCA.

And also remember that Gungahlin Drive was first proposed by the Liberal government, who had a preference for the eastern alignment (which is what it is now), but Labor wanted the Western alignment to avoid the environmental impacts that would come from running along the ridge. And BTW the Liberal party proposal was also single lane, duplicated later too.

But let us not let truth get in the way shall well. That is not the Trump or Abbott way.

https://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/attachments/article/2660/GDE.pdf

http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=ncet/nca/report/chapter6.pdf

Um, I think you’re rewriting history a bit here.

The NCA have responsibility for this type of planning in this area, so the fact that the ACT government preferred a different route is irrelevant, they needed NCA approval, so it was up to them to provide the case to determine a preferred route as well as managing completing stakeholder concerns over whichever route was chosen.

The NCA didn’t cause the delays in it’s construction, the ACT government’s inability to manage stakeholder concerns and the approvals process as well as the Save the Ridge group’s unsuccessful legal challenge did.

If you want to apportion blame for the delay, Save The Ridge would be first by a mile, followed by the ACT government, with the NCA trailing a distant last.

devils_advocate 8:54 am 06 Dec 16

JC said :

But let us not let truth get in the way shall well. That is not the Trump or Abbott way.

https://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/attachments/article/2660/GDE.pdf

http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=ncet/nca/report/chapter6.pdf

I seem to remember at the time there was some supposedly environmental group protesting the route of the GDE on O’Connor ridge. Some environmental reasons were put forward but basically it was just residents engaging in some strategic NIMBY-ing. Fair enough too, some of them would have paid a bomb for their houses and then the government runs a massive highway up the back of it.

When you’re getting along at 100kph a smallish diversion doesn’t make a big difference.

JC 9:41 pm 05 Dec 16

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Then the government build molongolo with a dual lane roads gets accused of waste and then announced the duplication of the final section of cotter road and people question is it really needed.

As for GDE still surprised how short people’s memories are with that road specifically the dealys caused by the Federal (Liberal government). That caused about 3 years of delay extra costs and a court battle that went to the highest court in the land. That’s the reason it needed duplicating the moment it was finished.

It was only 1 or 2 isolated, ill informed posts querying why the duel lanes/duplication was necessary. Thats no reason to get all defensive over the OPs comments about duel lane roads in Gunners.

Re GDE duplication : as I recall, there was protracted legal action taken by some Green group. They lost and hopefully had to sell everything, including their houses, to help meet the ACT Govt costs.

Thanks for clarifying that.
I don’t recall the NCA or John Howard demonstrating against the GDE route either. It was definitely a Green inspired movement who as you said, lost a lot of money when their case fell over in court.
If it was today, people would be blaming Tony Abbott or Donald Trump.

Really, the NCA didn’t oppose the western alignment of the GDE? Hmm can you please explain these documents? The second one even talks about the allegations of political interference. Denies them of course, but I do post this to quite clearly show that there were objections from the NCA and that there were political tensions around the routing and look no mention of the greens…

And the the subsequent battles with save the ridge came about from the Eastern alignment, that rightly or wrongly was foist upon the government by the NCA.

And also remember that Gungahlin Drive was first proposed by the Liberal government, who had a preference for the eastern alignment (which is what it is now), but Labor wanted the Western alignment to avoid the environmental impacts that would come from running along the ridge. And BTW the Liberal party proposal was also single lane, duplicated later too.

But let us not let truth get in the way shall well. That is not the Trump or Abbott way.

https://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/attachments/article/2660/GDE.pdf

http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=ncet/nca/report/chapter6.pdf

JC 12:19 pm 05 Dec 16

chewy14 said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Then the government build molongolo with a dual lane roads gets accused of waste and then announced the duplication of the final section of cotter road and people question is it really needed.

As for GDE still surprised how short people’s memories are with that road specifically the dealys caused by the Federal (Liberal government). That caused about 3 years of delay extra costs and a court battle that went to the highest court in the land. That’s the reason it needed duplicating the moment it was finished.

It was only 1 or 2 isolated, ill informed posts querying why the duel lanes/duplication was necessary. Thats no reason to get all defensive over the OPs comments about duel lane roads in Gunners.

Re GDE duplication : as I recall, there was protracted legal action taken by some Green group. They lost and hopefully had to sell everything, including their houses, to help meet the ACT Govt costs.

Yeah, I can’t recall anyone questioning the dual lanes in Molonglo? As soon as they build the new bridge and northern section of John Gorton Dr, that road will be heavily used.

Agreed it makes sense, but see this Riotact article from last year.

http://the-riotact.com/gungahlin-traffic-woes/143595/comment-page-3

Though do still laugh when they say we got dual lane roads before self government. Clearly they never noticed the roads in Tuggernaong and Belconnen that were built pre self government that were built and remain as single lane roads. Or didn’t live here or remembered how the roads were often done as single lane and duplicated later. One of the Canberra facebook feeds has been showing some pics of Canberra under construction of late, and it shows this well. So reality is nothing much has changed, but guess many see the inner areas as the ‘good times’ before Self Government, when maybe they are just the inner areas with more traffic.

And for what it is worth, I reckon the main road into any township should be dual lane from the beginning. So support John Gorton Drive, and some more of the Tugger roads should be dual lane too. Plus William Hovell, William Slim drive, etc

chewy14 said :

And anyone who doesn’t think the final section of Cotter Rd needs duplicating has either:
a) never driven on the road or
b) is deluded

I think it was Dungers actually, just the other day.

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