28 February 2023

Shared path on busy Sulwood Drive step closer to construction

| Claire Fenwicke
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aerial view Sulwood Drive

More safety improvements are coming for Sulwood Drive near Mount Taylor. Photo: ACT Government.

Work has begun on crossing upgrades near Mount Taylor in Kambah in preparation for a new shared path along Sulwood Drive.

Streetlighting has already been installed on Inkster Street and Livingstone Avenue in anticipation of two new raised crossings.

Construction of those will begin in the next few weeks.

Transport Minister Chris Steel said the raised crossings will make the increasingly popular area safer for everyone.

“Mount Taylor is a hugely popular recreation destination, so we’re building better infrastructure to improve safety and access for all people who visit the nature reserve – not just vehicles, but also walkers and cyclists,” he said.

“New raised crossings across Inkster Street and Livingstone Avenue will calm traffic turning into these suburban streets, as well as providing safe crossings for walkers and riders using the new paths and trails.”

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The project will also include constructing a three-metre-wide shared path along Sulwood Drive between Drakeford Drive and Athllon Drive.

“Sulwood Drive, between Drakeford Drive and Athllon Drive, has no formal off-road or on-road cyclist or pedestrian facilities,” Mr Steel said.

“We will address this missing link and encourage active travel by building a new four-kilometre off-road shared path on the southern side of Sulwood Drive, connecting with the rest of our shared path network.”

Traffic lights will be installed at the intersection of Mannheim Street and Sulwood Drive to create a safe place for people to cross, while a dedicated safe right-hand turn lane into the Mount Taylor car park will also be built.

Community engagement was undertaken in 2021, which also pointed out a missing footpath link on Mannheim Street.

This has been incorporated into the design, along with further improvements around landscaping.

However, Mr Steel acknowledged not every box would be ticked.

“Feedback from the community indicated support for locating the shared path on the northern side of the road,” he said.

“However, there are significant challenges, including utilities and endangered ecological species such as Box Gum Grassy Woodlands, which have led to the path being designed on the southern side.”

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The detailed design of the principal shared path and Mannheim Street intersection works still haven’t been finalised, while construction procurement is expected in the middle of the year.

Locals will also be given the chance to discuss the landscaping plan ahead of procurement.

It’s hoped construction on the main path works will start before the end of 2023.

The shared path was originally proposed as part of a $5.8 million joint Labor package during the 2019 Federal election campaign.

The Sulwood Drive improvements have received $9.67 million in funds.

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There was a recent death on this road. None of these improvements are going to make it any safer for drivers and likely to the opposite. A raised crossing sounds like more wear and tear on our cars. The road badly needs a repair and straightening. The last ‘fix’ for the carpark just coated the road in loose gravel.

Are riders going to ride up hill to get to where? Seems like a poor use case.

This just makes it easier for those in the city to park and does nothing for local residents.

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