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Major improvements planned for Monaro Highway

Key intersections along the Monaro Highway in the ACT are set for an upgrade in a bid to provide “a faster and safer commute” for motorists.

Announced on Wednesday 27 March, the upgrades are supported by the Federal and ACT governments with $200 million committed to the project.

A tender for feasibility and preliminary design along the Monaro Highway will be released this week to investigate intersection upgrades from Johnson Drive in the south through to the access road to the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

This will include the intersections with Lanyon Drive and Isabella Drive and intersections with Mugga Lane, Tralee Street and Sheppard Street into Hume.

ACT Minister for Roads Chris Steel said it is anticipated that design documentation will be developed and approvals (including environmental approvals) obtained in 2020-21 with an indicative start date for construction in 2022.

“This preliminary program will be reviewed once the full extent of works is defined,” he said.

In October last year, the Monaro Highway was named Canberra’s worst hotspot for car accidents, according to the 2018 AAMI Crash Index.

At the time, AAMI spokesperson Ashleigh Paterson said: “Hume’s Monaro Highway in Canberra’s south has several lanes of traffic travelling in both directions which can become congested during peak periods with several roads feeding into it.”

Minister Steel said the aim of the Monaro Highway upgrades will be “to safely achieve a consistent speed limit of 100km per hour from Johnson Drive to Hindmarsh Drive”.

“The designs will look at providing a faster and safer commute for motorists on the Monaro by removing traffic lights, roundabouts and other intersections and replacing them with grade separated interchanges,” he said.

A grade separated interchange is a method of separating the junction of two or more roads at different heights so the traffic flow is not disrupted. Examples include the intersection of Gungahlin Drive and Belconnen Way, or Kings Avenue and Parkes Way.

Further south, detailed design work will start in coming weeks for an overtaking lane and median barrier treatments between Royalla Drive and Williamsdale Road, with construction anticipated in the 2019-20 financial year.

Preliminary designs will also be prepared in coming weeks for the duplication of Pialligo Avenue between the Canberra Airport and NSW border including improvements to the intersection with Beltana Road.

The Federal Government has also committed $50 million to fund upgrades to the Kings Highway corridor from where it starts near Queanbeyan and the duplication of William Slim Drive. The William Slim Drive works will include intersection upgrades at Dumas Street, Owen Dixon Drive and Chuculba Crescent.

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