Woden Contractors get the nod to expand Parkes Way

johnboy 13 May 2012 26

Chief Minister Gallagher has announced she’s handed over the contract for the $13 million Parkes Way widening to Woden Contractors:

“The $13 million Parkes Way widening project will benefit all Canberrans and see the construction of a third lane from Glenloch Interchange to Edinburgh Avenue, which will increase the capacity of the road and in turn improve traffic flow and road safety,” the Chief Minister said.

“This is an important road upgrade project that will improve travel times for those from the south of Canberra who currently use the Tuggeranong Parkway and those from the north and west, who use William Hovell Drive and the GDE to get onto Parkes Way.

“Parkes Way carries over 35,000 vehicles a day and with increased residential development in the Molonglo Valley and Gungahlin, the volume of traffic is forecast to increase to 40,000 vehicles a day by 2016,” the Chief Minister said.

The project will also involve improving the Parkes Way on-ramp to Commonwealth Avenue by increasing the length of the merging lane with London Circuit southbound traffic. New street lighting will also be installed along the route.

Existing lanes will stay open but with reduced speeds.


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26 Responses to Woden Contractors get the nod to expand Parkes Way
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buzz819 buzz819 11:22 am 15 May 12

Here’s a question, why should we give more money to Action? So they can hire more bus drivers who don’t want to work past 11pm and wont work weekends or public holidays?

All the cars going down Parkes Way aren’t all going to the city, they go to the Parliamentary Triangle, Kingston, Fyshwick, Campbell Park, Brindabella Park, some even go to Queanbeyan.

I doubt they are going to put enough buses on the road to make up for the 35,000 people, that’s what, 3,500 buses they’d have to find?

dvaey dvaey 1:17 am 15 May 12

JC said :

They then also need to widen the bridge of Clunies Ross Street and they are also doing work on the otherside of the tunnel in relation to the Commonwealth ave exit. So overall $13m looks a tad small.

NSW RTA just completed a project on Nerriga Rd, rebuilding over 54km of road (realigning, sealing, new bridges, etc) for $80m. So, how come the RTA can turn a 50km dirt track into tar for $1.6m/km yet it costs between $3-$6m per km (depending on whether you think theyre redoing 4km or 2km of road) to move some streetlights and adjust the sealed road already there?

I guess though, with hindsight of the GDE. we should be expecting to pay $15-$20 per km for this road.

FioBla said :

With regards to public transport use in percentages, and compared to other Australian capitals, Canberra was keeping up with Perth in 1996. And then the bottom fell out big time:

One interesting note I see from those figures, is that Hobart was in-line with Canberra, until 2006 when they suddenly increased from 6.9% to 10.3% usage. So looking at the summary numbers, Hobart scored -19.5% for 1996-2006 (from 12.8 to 10.3) but from 2000-2006 they nearly doubled their public transport usage (from 5.2 to 10.3). In the same time, Canberras usage has continued sliding downwards.

What did Hobart do between 2003 and 2006 that suddenly doubled their public transport usage, and why has that not been looked at for Canberra?

slashdot slashdot 8:31 pm 14 May 12

Hasn’t labor learnt from the farce that is the GDE. Don’t upgrade core arterial roads in a cheap half-arsed manner. Do it once and do it properly. It may cost slightly more, but it will be cheaper in the long run. I can just see that using parkes way from Belconnen is going to be a nightmare for the next decade

Deckard Deckard 7:19 pm 14 May 12

Will this mean we all just get to the bottleneck at Commonwealth Ave/Coranderrk St roundabout a bit quicker? Until they design something to get the traffic to flow through there a lot faster I don’t think it’ll make too much of a difference.

After that they’ll need to fix the ANZAC parade roundabout.

How much money for a couple of tunnels?

FioBla FioBla 5:58 pm 14 May 12

I’m glad gasman is doing the arguing, so I don’t have to.

With regards to public transport use in percentages, and compared to other Australian capitals, Canberra was keeping up with Perth in 1996. And then the bottom fell out big time:

http://i.imgur.com/uXfP1.jpg

http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Chapter10102008

The ACT government’s shot-term targets for non-car use are also very unambitious:

http://i.imgur.com/giDdF.jpg

Someone brought up the “sick, elderly, diseased or injured”. Actually, those are reasons to have alternatives to private motor vehicles. One day every single person reading this will be unable to drive. Due to poor vision, poor reflexes, epilepsy, a broken limb, can’t afford rego/insurance or car itself, accumulated demerits etc—and all this not just due to old age too. If you have a person that can drive you around Canberra, then that’s wonderful. But for your own independence—the alternative being a prisoner in your own home—good alternatives to the private car would be important.

IMO it is a losing argument discussing public transport in Canberra. It’s an Australia-wide problem. Sydney can’t do build more rail because it’s too built up. Canberra can’t have better public transport because it’s too depopulated. Melbourne can’t build rail to its airports because it’s too expensive. Yea right. Building roads is cool, it’s popular, and it doesn’t afraid of anything.

gasman gasman 5:22 pm 14 May 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

gasman – you still haven’t convinced me. The cities you mention have well over half a million people and quite a substantial economy over Canberra.

The City of Vancouver is comparable to Canberra – about 400,000. (The Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Area is 2 million people, a conglomerate of 10 cities, but its the actual City of Vancouver that I am referring to).

wildturkeycanoe said :

I still put it to you, catching a cold is more likely when you pedal like crazy to get to work, get sweaty and then get cold in sub-zero temps.

Catching a cold is via a virus, NOT from getting cold. I’m a medical practitioner. Exercise is preventative in terms of infection. There are many studies showing that workplaces that encourage cycling to work have far lower absenteeism from sick days.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Regardless of the exercise aspect, it isn’t quicker to go 15km by bike, if you can only maintain an average speed of say 16km/h?? Also, if you have anything to carry, say briefcase, work suit to change into, tools, handbag….it becomes more problematic.

Sure, cycling is not for everyone and not for every trip. I drive when I have to, but ride whenever I can.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Buses still take 3 times as long as a car and aren’t available exactly when you need them, especially weekends.

No argument from me. The Canberra bus system is a disgrace. It could do with an injection of say, $13 million.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Do you seriously think the carpark at the hospital is for physically fit, peak condition cyclists?? NO. It is for the sick, elderly, diseased or injured.

The multi-level carpark is primarily for staff, not patients. It was needed because public transport is so poor in Canberra.

Compare this to Vancouver – Vancouver General Hospital has NO free parking for staff. It does, however, have excellent access from 16 bus services and an elevated sky train system that runs every 5 minutes during peak times, and every 10 minutes outside of peak times. There are several private parking stations around, for about $25 per day if you wish.

wildturkeycanoe said :

As for $41 million for a carpark, that’s only about 3.2 km of light rail. It won’t get you very far.

Vancouver has built a comprehensive SkyTrain system, starting in the 1970’s and still having branch lines added to it. Build it once, and its there forever. When the Richmond line was opened in 2009, car traffic dropped by 30% on the main road into Vancouver.

My point being that a one-off expenditure on public transport such as light rail pays dividends in the long term, and works our less expensive (if you count the whole community cost) in the long run.

I’m not opposed to cars and roads. I am opposed to Canberra focussing almost exclusively on cars and roads, to the detriment of other forms of transport and a worsening of the city and our lifestyles.

JC JC 5:07 pm 14 May 12

PoQ said :

JC said :

…when William Hovell was the exit rather than the straight, even to this day I often see cars indicating right at this point…

You saw a Canberran using their indicators?

“Photos, or it didn’t happen”

Gotta remember they were indicating on a straight through road, so doing it wrong. About the only time you see it, so no photos!

JC JC 5:06 pm 14 May 12

Mysteryman said :

Without a median strip there will be nowhere to park a camera van. So how long before they install point-to-point speed cameras on this “notorious blackspot”? I give 6 months after completion, at most.

Saw an article about this very thing the other day where it said Parkes Way would be the next location for them, except they are widening it, so yep expect them once it is done and I also gather to expect a drop to 80km/h which has also been mooted.

JC JC 5:05 pm 14 May 12

dvaey said :

JC said :

Oh and Dvaey the turn from Clunnies Ross onto Parkes way is already a slip lane! Looking at the design docs however it appears as if the turn will continue as is, except rather than being given a free run into the tunnel traffic from this lane will be forced to merge.

Maybe Im a bit confused on what a slip lane is then. I thought a silp lane was where the traffic merged, I wasnt aware that a dedicated lane can also carry that title. The point still remains though, there are already 3 lanes from Clunnes Ross St to the city, so this 13mil for 4km to change 2-lanes into 3, is actually 13mil to change 2km from 2 to 3 lanes. Exactly where are they finding these people who charge $6.5mil per km to ‘widen’ a road in which they dont actually have to widen the road, they just have to remove a median… did they find new jobs for the former GDE planners or something?

A slip lane is a lane that allows you to bypass an intersection, so in this case the slip lane is at the turn. The fact it then run’s up on it’s own lane is consequential to the slip lane as there is no intersection at this point. That being said I don’t think it is going to be a major issue with the 3 lane through Parkes Way. Cars turning off into Civic past the bridge should be able to get in their lane earlier so less of the argy bargy that is seen here, though yes heavan forbid cars comming off Clunies Ross will have to give way.

As for the work that needs to be done have a look at the design, it is a bit more than digging up the median and putting down some asphalt. They have to move the street lights from the centre to the outside, which means there needs to be twice as many of them and if you look on the black mountain side of Parkes Way it won’t be easy to install new ones due to the train.

They then also need to widen the bridge of Clunies Ross Street and they are also doing work on the otherside of the tunnel in relation to the Commonwealth ave exit. So overall $13m looks a tad small.

dvaey dvaey 4:35 pm 14 May 12

JC said :

Oh and Dvaey the turn from Clunnies Ross onto Parkes way is already a slip lane! Looking at the design docs however it appears as if the turn will continue as is, except rather than being given a free run into the tunnel traffic from this lane will be forced to merge.

Maybe Im a bit confused on what a slip lane is then. I thought a silp lane was where the traffic merged, I wasnt aware that a dedicated lane can also carry that title. The point still remains though, there are already 3 lanes from Clunnes Ross St to the city, so this 13mil for 4km to change 2-lanes into 3, is actually 13mil to change 2km from 2 to 3 lanes. Exactly where are they finding these people who charge $6.5mil per km to ‘widen’ a road in which they dont actually have to widen the road, they just have to remove a median… did they find new jobs for the former GDE planners or something?

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 4:17 pm 14 May 12

gasman – you still haven’t convinced me. The cities you mention have well over half a million people and quite a substantial economy over Canberra. There is no comparison here. A city the size of Canberra cannot support this kind of transit system at present population levels.
I still put it to you, catching a cold is more likely when you pedal like crazy to get to work, get sweaty and then get cold in sub-zero temps. Regardless of the exercise aspect, it isn’t quicker to go 15km by bike, if you can only maintain an average speed of say 16km/h?? Also, if you have anything to carry, say briefcase, work suit to change into, tools, handbag….it becomes more problematic. Buses still take 3 times as long as a car and aren’t available exactly when you need them, especially weekends.
Do you seriously think the carpark at the hospital is for physically fit, peak condition cyclists?? NO. It is for the sick, elderly, diseased or injured. These people may not be able to get to the hospital without at least assistance from a helper and a suitcase of clothes and personal items. I know I couldn’t have made my daughter’s specialist appointment last week at TCH without driving there myself. The transport system could not have delivered us in time unless I took half a day off work. This is not a great argument to support solutions better than bus transit in my opinion.
As for $41 million for a carpark, that’s only about 3.2 km of light rail. It won’t get you very far.

Erg0 Erg0 3:01 pm 14 May 12

johnboy said :

Inner north to Civic I always choose bike over car unless I plan to bring a bulky package back because the parking is such a pain.

The system works!

gasman gasman 2:49 pm 14 May 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

Which North American cities are you talking about?

I lived for 2 years in Vancouver, Canada, with multiple and extensive visits to Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. All 4 cities have excellent public transport systems. Vancouver is now spending far more money on light rail, cycle ways and busses than on roads. In fact, it is shutting down road lanes for cars, and converting them to cycle/bus/rail lanes. It has achieved a 7% reduction in car use in the city despite a large increase in population. The community is largely very supportive of these moves.

Portland calls itself the cycle capital of the USA. It mayor is now spending 5% of all road infrastructure on a cycle system. Not because he is a hippy, but because it makes good business sense. A small investment in cycleways returns big in less infrastructure for parking, a healthier population (less spending on healthcare), a more liveable, attractive, tourist-friendly city.

In San Francisco and Seattle, similar changes are underway, though not as dramatic.

In all these cities, bus, rail and cycle use is far higher than I see in Canberra. It is cheaper and often quicker to go by bus/cycle/rail in these cities than to go by car. I don’t think that can be said for any trip within Canberra.

wildturkeycanoe said :

Also, how is sitting in a tram, bus or monorail any less healthy than sitting in a car, especially when a trip into central Canberra from the suburbs takes around an hour or more by bus but only 15 minutes in a car?

Canberra’s bus service is underfunded and badly implemented. Therefore, inadequately used. By using a well-planned bus/train/tram system, and certainly on a bike, you get more exercise, you meet with more people in your community. You interact, read, relax. Maybe even chat. You save money and use less of the world’s resources. All this is healthy.

Furthermore, less money spent on car infrastructure means more money spent on other things. Canberra Hospital recently spent $41 million on a multi-level car park. That $41 million came out of the health budget, and could have paid for hundreds of nurses, ICU and ward beds, surgical suites etc. Instead, it got a car park and a 5 day wait for emergency surgery. Car infrastructure spending takes money away from health.

wildturkeycanoe said :

If you are talking about the health aspects of riding a bike vs car [Oh-oh, let’s not open that kettle of fish!], I put it to you that sitting in a car on a 2 degree winter’s morning with heavy drizzle or -3 and heavy fog cannot be healthier than keeping dry in a comfortable 20 degree heated cabin.

Not sure how you come to that conclusion. I put it to you that sitting in a car, even at 20 degrees, is far less healthy than riding a bike on a -2 degree morning. My heart is pounding by the time I get to work after a 45 minute ride, having metabolised a couple of thousand kilojoules and boosted my immune system. Over the same distance, a car driver’s heart is turning to lard. We have 2 sorts of people on my operating table – those who drive cars and those who have been hit by them.

wildturkeycanoe said :

As for de-centralised work options, have you seen what’s going on at Majura Park, the airport precinct or Gungahlin’s new government offices. These are being not only looked at but also implemented. Yet, Majura Park seems to have created exactly the problem it is supposed to eliminate due to the lack of decent transport options and remoteness to suburbia. Tuggeranong Office park and the Centrelink building opposite is exactly what de-centralising is about. Only problem is I wonder how many of the people working there live in Weston Creek, Belconnen or Gunners?

Fully agree. A decentralised city needs to be planned well – housing, shopping, schooling, working and transport all integrated. The original decentralised Canberra began in the 1970’s and 1980’s with the creation of Woden, Belconnen and Tuggeranong. Pretty well done back then. The newer suburbs are simply dormitories – places people go to to sleep before they hop in their cars to drive to where they work.

wildturkeycanoe said :

and you may want to update to the 2012 edition of “Rioting for Dummies

I appreciate a well-structured argument, but your last sentence is inappropriate.

    johnboy johnboy 2:51 pm 14 May 12

    Inner north to Civic I always choose bike over car unless I plan to bring a bulky package back because the parking is such a pain.

PoQ PoQ 10:51 am 14 May 12

JC said :

…when William Hovell was the exit rather than the straight, even to this day I often see cars indicating right at this point…

You saw a Canberran using their indicators?

“Photos, or it didn’t happen”

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 10:26 am 14 May 12

gasman said :

Translation:

We are thinking like a 1950’s north American city – where the car is king, and we MUST funnel as many cars as possible into the city. Where they will park and what common land we must sacrifice for car parking we will think about later – there is still plenty of vacant land around the lake to convert. We will not think about the fact that this will ease traffic on this short stretch for a few years until it too fills to capacity and become gridlock. We will not think about or fund alternative transport, nor will we think about decentralised work options. We will also not think about whether we are making the city a nice place to be. We will not think about the negative health aspects of sitting in a car for much of our lives. We will ignore the fact that many of those north American cities who previously thought like this are now changing their ways and instituting an integrated transport system combining public transport, cycleways, decentralised work places, and opening up city spaces for people.

Which North American cities are you talking about? A quick search on the web revealed the following cities – Arlington [pop 365,000], Ann Arbor [pop 344,791], Anaheim [pop 336,000], Anchorage [pop 291,000] and Bakersfield [pop 347,000] do NOT have comprehensive integrated public transport systems. They are like us and rely on buses and major freeways to get from point A to point B.
These are cities similar in size to Canberra, but with the advantages of economies strong in oil, industry, tourism and the like. Do we have a stadium that can seat 109,000+??
Do you have any statistical or factual information to back your generalisations?
Also, how is sitting in a tram, bus or monorail any less healthy than sitting in a car, especially when a trip into central Canberra from the suburbs takes around an hour or more by bus but only 15 minutes in a car? If you are talking about the health aspects of riding a bike vs car [Oh-oh, let’s not open that kettle of fish!], I put it to you that sitting in a car on a 2 degree winter’s morning with heavy drizzle or -3 and heavy fog cannot be healthier than keeping dry in a comfortable 20 degree heated cabin.
If you have a better way to spend $13,000,000 that achieves an improvement to the traffic problems of Canberra, let’s hear them, I’m sure the government will listen. In the US, light rail costs average $35 million per mile as opposed to $3.5 million per lane/mile for freeways. [source – Wikipedia, light rail costs] I can see why our government with limited funds has chosen the option that is a tenth of the cost.
As for de-centralised work options, have you seen what’s going on at Majura Park, the airport precinct or Gungahlin’s new government offices. These are being not only looked at but also implemented. Yet, Majura Park seems to have created exactly the problem it is supposed to eliminate due to the lack of decent transport options [single lanes from north, east and south] and remoteness to suburbia. Tuggeranong Office park and the Centrelink building opposite is exactly what de-centralising is about. Only problem is I wonder how many of the people working there live in Weston Creek, Belconnen or Gunners?
I hope these facts help you see that your translation has some errors and you may want to update to the 2012 edition of “Rioting for Dummies”

Mysteryman Mysteryman 9:39 am 14 May 12

Without a median strip there will be nowhere to park a camera van. So how long before they install point-to-point speed cameras on this “notorious blackspot”? I give 6 months after completion, at most.

JC JC 7:11 am 14 May 12

Here are the design docs:

http://www.nationalcapital.gov.au/attachments/419_60198222_Parkes_Way_Widening_20_WA_dwgs.pdf

But as I said above acording to the Canberra Crimes they are only doing the city bound lanes.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/green-light-for-upgrade-20120512-1yjto.html

Oh and Dvaey the turn from Clunnies Ross onto Parkes way is already a slip lane! Looking at the design docs however it appears as if the turn will continue as is, except rather than being given a free run into the tunnel traffic from this lane will be forced to merge.

gasman gasman 7:04 am 14 May 12

Translation:

We are thinking like a 1950’s north American city – where the car is king, and we MUST funnel as many cars as possible into the city. Where they will park and what common land we must sacrifice for car parking we will think about later – there is still plenty of vacant land around the lake to convert. We will not think about the fact that this will ease traffic on this short stretch for a few years until it too fills to capacity and become gridlock. We will not think about or fund alternative transport, nor will we think about decentralised work options. We will also not think about whether we are making the city a nice place to be. We will not think about the negative health aspects of sitting in a car for much of our lives. We will ignore the fact that many of those north American cities who previously thought like this are now changing their ways and instituting an integrated transport system combining public transport, cycleways, decentralised work places, and opening up city spaces for people.

gooterz gooterz 1:09 am 14 May 12

wildturkeycanoe said :

Reading some docs I found in gov web pages it appears the median in the middle will become the 3rd lane in both directions, not the outside lane where bikes travel presently. There will also be a wire guard rail in the center then.
Should be fun if what I read was correct and it will take around 12 months to complete. Belconnen way will get a work out as people detour this temporary delay. Just the repairs to the slip lane from William Hovell to GDE on Saturday caused enormous back up of traffic all the way beyond Bindubi traffic lights. Wonder how the 3rd lane works will affect this and the Parkes way?

So the el cheapo that will only decrease safety.
If anything it would be better to straighten it. When I worked in civic I’d see at least one car flip on the same section each year.
The other option would be to use the lanes of the lady D. Then that gives you 6 lanes either way the middle two could be tidal flow lanes

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 10:18 pm 13 May 12

Reading some docs I found in gov web pages it appears the median in the middle will become the 3rd lane in both directions, not the outside lane where bikes travel presently. There will also be a wire guard rail in the center then.
Should be fun if what I read was correct and it will take around 12 months to complete. Belconnen way will get a work out as people detour this temporary delay. Just the repairs to the slip lane from William Hovell to GDE on Saturday caused enormous back up of traffic all the way beyond Bindubi traffic lights. Wonder how the 3rd lane works will affect this and the Parkes way?

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