The 11,000 motorists who drive from Googong and Burra into Queanbeyan each day will now have an easier commute after the new Old Cooma Road was opened by Member for Monaro John Barilaro and Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Mayor Tim Overall on Friday (12 June).
Old Cooma Road is the main access road from Googong to Queanbeyan and then onto the ACT. The upgrade will also connect it with the future Ellerton Drive extension.
Work on the Old Cooma Road upgrade started in January 2019 and has been completed months ahead of schedule. Stage 2 of the upgrade included two new lanes in each direction, an additional northbound lane in the first stage section, a widened centre median to reduce head-on crashes, and a shared cycle and pedestrian path.
Minor landscaping work will be completed by late June.
Mr Barilaro said the upgrade will make a significant difference to the lives of the thousands of motorists who use the road regularly.
“Old Cooma Road is one of the busiest in the area with about 11,000 vehicles travelling along the road each and every day,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The significant upgrade carried out on this 4.5-kilometre stretch is part of the second stage of work and will ensure a safer connection to growth areas such as Googong and Burra.
“Particularly in Googong, we’re seeing so many new families move to this area, which was why I made it an absolute priority to upgrade this road to a standard that locals deserve.
“Not only is Old Cooma Road now safer for motorists and pedestrians, but the travel time has been reduced along this busy stretch making the commute to work or school much easier.”
The Old Cooma Road duplication is part of the NSW Government’s $70 million Monaro-Palerang roads package. The budget for this project is $31 million which includes design, construction, project management and land acquisitions.
Mayor Overall said the funding provided through the package has been put to very good use.
“On behalf of our community, particularly residents of Googong, Burra and surrounds who will use Old Cooma Road regularly, I am very pleased to see this important piece of our road network completed ahead of time,” Cr Overall said.
The upgrade comes as Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council has been allocated $1.5 million in the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. The program provides funding to local councils to support jobs and help local economies bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council has produced a works program to seal sections of Butmaroo Road and Majara Street in Bungendore, seal 600 metres of Williamsdale Road in the Queanbeyan area, and extend the Queanbeyan River Path from Dane Street towards Barracks Flat.
In Braidwood, the program will fund the extension of the stormwater pipe at the Braidwood Recreation Ground to enable a future skate park. Additional funding will see the Lascelles Street upgrade completed.
“This additional funding has allowed us to consider a number of projects from former and current Delivery Programs and Operational Plans which we didn’t have the funding for,” Mayor Tim Overall said.
“These are all new projects for Council’s work program for the next financial year, but are also projects that we have previously planned for.”
The works program will be submitted to the Commonwealth Government, with funding for eligible projects to become available from 1 July.