26 September 2023

City drivers gear up for roadway disruptions

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Canberra’s motorists have been advised to expect major changes to the southern entry to Civic with major road constructions planned for Commonwealth Avenue.

Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel said the construction of the second stage of light rail, together with the concurrent delivery of other major public and private infrastructure projects, would change how Canberrans accessed the City centre.

Mr Steel said City Services would work with commuters, employers and local businesses to put plans in place to reduce traffic disruption during the up to four years of construction.

“Stage Two of light rail will provide more convenient and reliable transport options for people on the Southside, help prevent future traffic gridlock and cut transport emissions,” Mr Steel said.

“Government is being upfront with Canberrans that the construction of light rail will be very disruptive for our road network, with lane closures and diversions in place for several years on major approach routes into the City from the Southside,” he said.

Mr Steel said lane closures and speed-limit reductions on Commonwealth Avenue could see traffic capacity decrease from 5,200 vehicles per hour to as low as 1,100 vehicles per hour.

The Minister said construction at the southern end of the CBD would mainly impact those coming from the Southside into the City, but there would be flow-on impacts across the road network.

He said that during peak periods, a large number of vehicles could shift to other arterial roads, like Kings Avenue and Parkes Way, potentially increasing traffic by 20 per cent on Kings Avenue and 45 to 60 per cent in Parks Way.

“The disruption associated with construction is going to be significant,” Mr Steel said.

“Canberrans should have the confidence that we’ll be communicating early, and often on a daily basis, during the construction period so that they have the information they need.”

He said a Disruption Taskforce had been formed to plan for the multi-year build and brought together expertise from across Government in road and public transport network planning; behaviour change; community engagement; and communications.

Mr Steel said the Taskforce’s focus was on minimising the impact of construction on the transport network, commuters and businesses by identifying opportunities for infrastructure improvements to support traffic flow; managing network demand; and providing alternate transport options.

He said the first major works associated with building light rail to Woden involved raising London Circuit to provide an at-grade intersection with Commonwealth Avenue.

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