26 February 2018

Welcome back Cotter: Four lanes give drivers smooth ride

| Ian Bushnell
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All four lanes are now in operation on the Cotter Road. Photos: Ian Bushnell.

All four lanes are now in operation on the Cotter Road. Photos: Ian Bushnell.

Weston Creek and Molonglo residents are enjoying a smoother run to the city and home again after the opening of four lanes on the Cotter Road as the duplication project nears completion.

The eagerly awaited $28.9 million project was expected to be completed in early February, but issues such as the relocation of water and utility services, and unexpected site conditions delayed the finish until early April.

But while some works still need to be completed, the opening of four lanes has been a welcome relief to drivers who have been caught in traffic snarls for months as the duplication proceeded.

The shared path, with a portion between Yarralumla Creek and the eastern approach to the intersection with the Tuggeranong Parkway already open to pedestrians and cyclists, is due to be completed in March.

Oncoming traffic from Weston on the Cotter Road.

Oncoming traffic from Weston on the Cotter Road.

The Cotter Road carries more than 20,000 vehicles a day as a major thoroughfare for traffic, travelling from Canberra’s inner south suburbs, Weston Creek and the new developments in Molonglo Valley through to the city.

This number will increase as residents move in to the new Molonglo suburbs.

The project will complete the duplication of Cotter Road between Adelaide Avenue and John Gorton Drive and slash driving times.

The project remained on budget.

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What do we reckon about the new Cotter Road then? There’s some resurfacing at night this week but in the day all the new lanes are open. Morning rush hour isn’t real good. Everyone trying to get from two lanes to one at Adelaide Av. What’s the fix? Is anyone working on one?

This has been a debacle from a planning perspective from day one. They built a brand new two lane section but did not put the gutters in so dug up a small slice along the whole length of it, put the gutters in then had to re-seal that slice. That has happened again now on the “old” section towards Molonglo and only now have they started building the bike path near North Weston that will impact on traffic flow until it is completed. A number of traffic islands that could have been completed early in the project are also not complete and the top of the sound wall, potentially the longest and fiddliest part of the project has not been started so will also impact on traffic flow. Sadly far too typical of new roads design and build in Canberra, don’t get me started on the bloody debacle of the access into Majura Park from the Monaro Highway.

Capital Retro9:20 am 28 Feb 18

I was trying to follow the blog guidelines, you know, be positive. In fact general driver behaviour in Canberra is disgusting as you witnessed with me yesterday.

Capital Retro6:50 pm 27 Feb 18

I drove from Deakin to Weston at 3.00pm today via the “new” Cotter Rd road widening. It took me 30 minutes – it was absolutely chaotic with no traffic control. The speed limit was 60 kmh dropping to 40 kmh when two lanes turned into one approaching the Tuggeranong Parkway flyover which became gridlocked with southbound Parkway traffic coming of the ramp to turn right over the crossover which was reduced to one lane also. Fortunately, one of the workman could see what was happening and he removed the traffic cones single-handedly on the crossover to clear the jam.

The four lanes may be open but there is still a lot of work (and traffic planning) to be done.

you didn’t mention tradies and school mums totally ignoring the changing speed zones

Seeing how good the surface is it will probably now be good for some 100km/h plus runs from Weston/Denman Prospect towards the city, subject to traffic light sequencing.

Well done Huon for a good job and active interest in looking after all users. Next step is to figure out how to extend this new capacity past Yarralumla into Adelaide Avenue and merge into Northbound Tuggers Parkway. Both are bottlenecks in rush hour and bound to get worse as Molongolo expands.

Really makes you yearn for the days when they planned to build an enormous $100 million floating roundabout over Adelaide Avenue: https://i.imgur.com/2u42FgVl.jpg
Sadly, I think it died years ago, along with the more extensive Brickworks development.

Capital Retro10:16 am 27 Feb 18

I couldn’t find anything on that link about a “floating roundabout” on that link but the other pics/articles were good!

We will have to be satisfied with the rainbow roundabout at Braddon I guess.

The floating roundabout (or “Mint Interchange”) is slightly more visible here: https://i.imgur.com/CCJN0a3.jpg and here: https://i.imgur.com/XHrK4hA.jpg. The LDA also briefly flirted with the idea of a diamond interchange, as seen here: https://i.imgur.com/AwBA7f8.jpg and here: https://i.imgur.com/5mGvUcQ.jpg. However, I think this also died with the more ambitious Brickworks proposal.

Capital Retro10:17 am 28 Feb 18

Thanks for that Arjay – I get the idea now. It would have looked great in rainbow colours.

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