17 March 2023

Parkes Way off-ramp to close as light-rail construction ramps up

| James Coleman
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traffic on Parkes Way

Parkes Way is one of the city’s only east-to-west arterial roads. Photo: ACT Government.

The ACT Government is asking motorists to rethink their commute as it prepares to temporarily close a busy ramp in Civic next week.

The circular off-ramp from Parkes Way eastbound onto Commonwealth Avenue will be closed for one week from 10 am on Tuesday, 21 March, to allow for “significant excavation” in the area.

Work will take place 24 hours a day until 7 am on Tuesday, 28 March. If there’s poor weather, some work may be delayed to between 8 pm on Friday, 31 March, and 7 am on Monday, 3 April.

During the closures, detours will be in place via Coranderrk Street and Constitution Avenue.

Motorists can also continue along Parkes Way and use the Kings Avenue Bridge to access South Canberra. There will be no lane closures on Parkes Way.

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The ACT Government closed London Circuit between Edinburgh Avenue and Constitution Avenue on 2 December, including the permanent closure of the two western cloverleaf ramps leading into the city.

It was described as the start of the most significant change to the road network in central Canberra since the 1960s, designed to raise London Circuit to the same height as Commonwealth Avenue so Stage 2A of light rail has a clear passage to Commonwealth Avenue Bridge on its way to Woden.

London Circuit project

An artist’s impression of the finished London Circuit. Image: ACT Government.

ACT Minister for Transport Chris Steel says construction is “ramping up”.

“We’ll continue to be upfront with the community about traffic impacts associated with works on our major infrastructure projects that will support our city’s future growth and the transformation of Canberra’s CBD,” he says.

“We’re reminding the community to rethink their routine and assess how they will travel in and around the city while these works are underway.”

Travellers are advised to consider driving outside peak hour traffic and use public transport when possible. For more information about road closures, visit Travel Impacts.

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I’m delighted the artist’s impression shows the tram terminating at the uni pub. Wouldn’t that be a great result!

Alvin Santos4:52 pm 20 Mar 23

Parkesway walls the city off from the Lake Burley Griffin foreshore. Many would be aware that it was not part of Burley Griffin’s plan. With the expansion of Civic, this has become a problem for our city planners. Since the 1980s TCCS and the predecessor have run studies how to fix this problem. It remains a thorn in the ACT Government side to this day. Its removal is out of the question.

Your article makes the claim that “most significant change to the road network in central Canberra since the 1960s”. The claim is misleading. Parkes Way was built progressively and completed on the following dates and the while it was gazette in 1960, it was not completed until 1979. Parkes Way is the subject of regular traffic studies that often include its history.

I am concerned that The RiotACT reports exaggerated claims without clarification. A little background information would put the current works – not that big really – in the proper context. John Gorton Drive is not the biggest bridge in Canberra as recently claimed but possibly the most expensive. John Gorton Drive is a new arterial but not the longest. Majura Parkway, 10 km long, cost $240 million and was completed about a decade ago. Then we have other big project such Glenloch Interchange and Gungahlin Drive. Canberra road network is continually expanding and much more is planned before 2041 – a second bridge over the Molonglo River, a new flyover on William Hovell Drive, a new bridge on Tuggeranong Parkway (more lanes), and more. And further 100s of millions for duplications and upgrades such Monaro Highway.

What was the point of this?
A few billion to get the light rail to floriade which is going to move eventually?
Or is it to ramp up prices on city to lake so we can sell off the foreshore.
Sure its in the walter griffen plan, and trams were around when that was made but surely we’re not using that as it only had a fraction of the size of Canberra imagined, like 100k people.

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