Southsiders are set to enjoy a safer and faster commute with the ACT Government today releasing concept designs for the duplication of Athllon Drive with funding announced to take the project to the next stage.
“Athllon Drive is a major transport corridor for the Southside and these plans propose major improvements to the road including public transport and active travel upgrades to keep Canberrans moving efficiently and safely around our city,” said Minister for Roads and Active Travel, Chris Steel.
3km of the remaining single carriageway sections of the road will be duplicated, between Shea Street and Melrose Drive in Phillip and between Sulwood Drive and Drakeford Drive in Kambah. More than 14,000 vehicles travel on Athllon Drive per day, including nearly 2,000 per hour in the peak periods.
This project will not only provide two lanes in each direction from Woden through to Tuggeranong, it also proposes several intersection upgrades, new active travel infrastructure and will prioritise public transport with a dedicated northbound bus priority lane through Phillip and several bus priority intersections.
It is expected that the upgrades will cut at least 2 minutes off travel times for morning commuters on the R4 and R5, making our public transport system more efficient and reliable.
“The full duplication of Athllon Drive will help to provide bus priority and manage traffic growth from increasing and planned development in the region,” said Minister Steel.
Part time traffic signals are proposed on Athllon Drive at the Sulwood Drive roundabout, to more safely manage traffic as population increases in the Tuggeranong Town Centre will see more commuters expected to use this road in the coming years. New traffic lights will also be installed at Melrose Drive, Parramatta Street and Atkins Street.
“The safety of vulnerable road users, cyclists and pedestrians is front of mind with plans to include improved path connections, on-road cycle lanes and intersection upgrades, including a new underpass under Sulwood Drive.”
Minister Steel said that the ACT Government would be engaging with nearby residents and local stakeholders to inform them about the project and to get their input on key aspects of the designs including public transport and active travel components.
Member for Brindabella for Joy Burch said she was pleased to see the upgrades, making it easier for Tuggeranong residents to get around our city.
“It makes sense to duplicate these remaining sections of Athllon Drive but also at the same time build new bus stops and provide better access for pedestrians,” Ms Burch said.
“Canberra’s most popular Rapid bus service runs on Athllon Drive and we’re proposing to provide better access to it with set of bus stops close to North East Kambah and streets around Longmore Crescent Wanniassa. The concept designs have also considered the future stages of light rail by designing a road network that would complement light rail operations.”
Meanwhile the ACT Government has committed further funding to progress this project and other key road upgrades around the city.
“I’m pleased to announce that the Government is funding detailed design work for the Athllon Drive duplication, which will take place following the consultation on the concept designs,” Minister Steel said.
“The ACT Government is also funding the necessary pre-DA approvals for the bridge over the Molonglo River, to progress this key piece of infrastructure for the Molonglo Valley.”
Meanwhile detailed design work is underway for the duplication of William Hovell Drive connecting West Belconnen to the City, and design and community engagement is underway on improvements to the Monaro Highway starting with upgrading the Lanyon Drive interchange to include a southbound flyover. In the north of Canberra, a construction tender will soon be released for the duplication of the road connecting Belconnen and Gungahlin between the Barton Highway and Ginninderra Drive with works expected to start later this year.