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Never ending roadworks

Roger Allnutt 10 December 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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31 Responses to Never ending roadworks
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devils_advocate devils_advocate 12:02 pm 05 Dec 16

I hear your pain. I opted out of the commute altogether by buying in the neighbouring suburb to my work. Bearing in mind I work in the triangle, I didn’t get much change from a cool mil. And of course I realise that option is not available to all. The sad part is, though… worth every penny.

chewy14 chewy14 10:29 am 05 Dec 16

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.

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

dungfungus dungfungus 8:49 am 05 Dec 16

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.

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 11:13 pm 04 Dec 16

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.

JC JC 11:04 pm 04 Dec 16

dungfungus said :

JC said :

Spykler said :

My favourite is the building of single lane roads ( Gunghalin) that have to serve over 60,000 new residents from 10 brand new suburbs, then once the roads become clogged every morning, the Government then spends the same amount (or more) duplicating what should have been double lane in the first place (GDE, Horse Park Drive, Gundaroo Drive).
Also,will be curious to observe if the current Barton highway/Gundaroo drive roundabout/traffic light upgrade will remove the blight of that intersection being the city’s number one blackspot.

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.

If I recall correctly it was the Greens who were behind the delays to the GDE. That is what caused the delays so blame should be apportioned where it belongs.

Re Cotter Road duplication, it has been promised for years by your Labor government and the only opposition of it (not being needed) was a lone post on another RiotACT thread.

I do not recall anyone criticising the dual lanes in Molonglo either.

No it was the NCA and the AIS (under Howard) who forced the route change egged on by ACT Liberal. That caused a delay in itself and then put them on the collision course with save the ridge and more delay. Maybe the greens had a part in the save the ridge action but root cause was the forced changed fused by federal liberal.

dungfungus dungfungus 6:13 pm 04 Dec 16

JC said :

Spykler said :

My favourite is the building of single lane roads ( Gunghalin) that have to serve over 60,000 new residents from 10 brand new suburbs, then once the roads become clogged every morning, the Government then spends the same amount (or more) duplicating what should have been double lane in the first place (GDE, Horse Park Drive, Gundaroo Drive).
Also,will be curious to observe if the current Barton highway/Gundaroo drive roundabout/traffic light upgrade will remove the blight of that intersection being the city’s number one blackspot.

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.

If I recall correctly it was the Greens who were behind the delays to the GDE. That is what caused the delays so blame should be apportioned where it belongs.

Re Cotter Road duplication, it has been promised for years by your Labor government and the only opposition of it (not being needed) was a lone post on another RiotACT thread.

I do not recall anyone criticising the dual lanes in Molonglo either.

JC JC 11:44 am 04 Dec 16

Spykler said :

My favourite is the building of single lane roads ( Gunghalin) that have to serve over 60,000 new residents from 10 brand new suburbs, then once the roads become clogged every morning, the Government then spends the same amount (or more) duplicating what should have been double lane in the first place (GDE, Horse Park Drive, Gundaroo Drive).
Also,will be curious to observe if the current Barton highway/Gundaroo drive roundabout/traffic light upgrade will remove the blight of that intersection being the city’s number one blackspot.

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.

bruce_lord bruce_lord 11:00 am 04 Dec 16

Spykler said :

My favourite is the building of single lane roads ( Gunghalin) that have to serve over 60,000 new residents from 10 brand new suburbs, then once the roads become clogged every morning, the Government then spends the same amount (or more) duplicating what should have been double lane in the first place (GDE, Horse Park Drive, Gundaroo Drive).
Also,will be curious to observe if the current Barton highway/Gundaroo drive roundabout/traffic light upgrade will remove the blight of that intersection being the city’s number one blackspot.

Don’t worry Gunghalin you are just getting the standard outer Canberra treatment. Tuggeranong has over 85,000 residents and only Drakeford Drive is a multi lane road. The Tuggeranong single lane main roads take a lot more traffic than many two lane roads across the rest of Canberra. Just think of single lane main roads Sulwood, Tharwa, Athlon, Erindale, Ashley, Johnson and Woodcock Drives. Many of them slow and dangerous to get onto in peak hour.

Half of these roads were planned and approved as dual lanes (you can still see the graded sections and bridge pylons for the second lanes) but local government pulled the pin on duplication in the 90s. Then Tuggeranong was discovered as not a vote you needed to win ACT elections.

Spykler Spykler 9:47 pm 03 Dec 16

My favourite is the building of single lane roads ( Gunghalin) that have to serve over 60,000 new residents from 10 brand new suburbs, then once the roads become clogged every morning, the Government then spends the same amount (or more) duplicating what should have been double lane in the first place (GDE, Horse Park Drive, Gundaroo Drive).
Also,will be curious to observe if the current Barton highway/Gundaroo drive roundabout/traffic light upgrade will remove the blight of that intersection being the city’s number one blackspot.

dungfungus dungfungus 5:11 pm 03 Dec 16

rommeldog56 said :

Will be very interesting to see how long the Tram associated roadworks along Northborne Ave and Flemington Road go for and whether they are done in one hit or bit by bit over an even longer period. Perhaps much heavier traffic along the Majura Parkway and perhaps, along the Tuggeranong Parkway, for a long time to come.

Yes, “vision” also has its blind spots.

I am wondering if our trams, being the first in inland Australia this century, will be fitted with the old style “cow catchers” that were on the “tin hare” rail-motors that were roaming our railroads last century.

Still plenty of kangaroos bounding through the transport corridors in Canberra.

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 1:31 pm 03 Dec 16

Will be very interesting to see how long the Tram associated roadworks along Northborne Ave and Flemington Road go for and whether they are done in one hit or bit by bit over an even longer period. Perhaps much heavier traffic along the Majura Parkway and perhaps, along the Tuggeranong Parkway, for a long time to come.

rommeldog56 rommeldog56 11:09 am 03 Dec 16

JimCharles said :

How did they expect people to get to work and school…by helicopter?

By Tram…….

Gungahlin_Bob Gungahlin_Bob 9:37 am 03 Dec 16

So it was not just me thinking this appears to be the case. Like the other poster, that little bit of works down at the bottom of Majura Road appears to have taken almost as long as the parkway itself.

It appears to be all the roadworks in Canberra. There appears to be no performance goals in place, so they appear to plod along until the next contract comes up. The crew and vehicles that appear to be devoted to a project, appears to minimal. I know that most building construction projects are completed in this fashion, rotating the needed crews onto newer projects, but generally they still meet their deadlines e.g. the crew that is left is on the last stretch.

Unless the government starts looking at these projects, Canberra will be looking at Gridlock if it hasn’t started already.

JimCharles JimCharles 9:12 pm 01 Dec 16

jetabe said :

Keeping in view the planning ahead by local governments they do a great job.
Bear in mind someone has to employ and keep employed the workers too.
A little inconvenience is okay for greater good.

You’ve got to be joking, the Empire State Building was finished in 54 weeks and putting traffic lights onto the Barton Highway roundabout is trying to just sneak in ahead of that.
It should be a 5 week job max.

The wasted productive time from waiting around 10 times longer than necessary hasn’t been considered, let alone the “little inconvenience”.
The excellent planning of the Govt who decided to do all roads out of Gungahlin at the same time with the blame-transferring excuse that “the public wanted it” doesn’t explain why they were asleep at the wheel in the first place, given that they’re the ones who’ve been controlling the build expansion timetable of about 10,000 extra homes and businesses over the last 5 years.
How did they expect people to get to work and school…by helicopter?

Kim F Kim F 12:25 pm 01 Dec 16

My “favourite” bit of road work has been that little bit of Majura Rd between Majura Park and Fairbairn Ave. It has been a continous bit of work for years as they add half a lane here another half of lane there when it obviously needed 4 lanes right from the start.

jetabe jetabe 1:30 am 01 Dec 16

Keeping in view the planning ahead by local governments they do a great job.
Bear in mind someone has to employ and keep employed the workers too.
A little inconvenience is okay for greater good.

JC JC 8:46 pm 30 Nov 16

You know op the 48 hour bridge replacement in China. Well yeah might have taken 48 hours to do that but what you wouldn’t have seen is the year long preparation works that would have been needed to get the new supports in and ready and all the other work that would have went along with it.

In the past 20 years I’ve seen bridges installed in Canberra over a weekend too, but the roadworks in preparation lasting for months. Ones that come to mind are Monaro highway over dairy flat road, Gungahlin drive over Gininderra drive and Majura Parkway over Fairbairn Ave. All installed over a weekend.

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 12:39 pm 30 Nov 16

Roadworks zones where there’s no roadwork happening is frustrating. I can understand the road may not be completely safe even if no works are happening. However, they quite often do a lazy job of covering up the roadworks/reduced speed signs – which is confusing. I’m interested to know where you stand legally where it’s unclear if the roadwork zone is in effect or not.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:18 pm 30 Nov 16

The works on Wentworth Avenue, terribly overdue that they were, have taken a ridiculous amount of time. I’d love to hear the rationale for the time taken.

And those lights on Vernon Circle are a massive, massive fail, haha! There should be signage alerting motorists that there are new lights ahead. Especially considering it is a blind approach to those lights.

Alas, roadworks all over the city, taking a long time, has been the Canberra way for too many years now.

Grail Grail 11:04 am 30 Nov 16

Maybe you should run for local government and make sure roads are done right!

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