Disruption taskforce announced as light rail nears construction

The ACT Government is planning ahead to manage traffic disruption as work ramps up on Canberra’s biggest-ever infrastructure project, delivering Stage 2 of light rail to Woden.

The construction of light rail – together with the concurrent delivery of other major public and private infrastructure projects – will change how Canberrans access the City centre.

Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said the Government will be working with commuters, employers and local businesses to put in place the right plans to reduce traffic disruption during up to four years of construction in the city centre.

“Stage 2 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,” Minister Steel said.

“The 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.”

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.

“Construction at the Southern end of the CBD will mainly impact those coming from the Southside into the City, but there will be flow-on impacts across the road network,” Minister Steel said.

During peak periods, a large number of vehicles could shift to other arterial roads like Kings Avenue and Parkes Way. Kings Avenue could see over 20% more traffic in the morning and afternoon peaks while Parkes Way between Kings Avenue and the City could be up over 45% in the morning and almost 60% in the afternoon.

“The disruption associated with construction is going to be significant, but once completed, light rail will make our city more vibrant, sustainable and better connected,” said Minister Steel.

The ACT Government has formed a Disruption Taskforce bringing together expertise from across the ACT Government in road and public transport network planning, behaviour change, community engagement and communications to plan for the multi-year build.

The Disruption Taskforce’s focus is minimising the impact of construction on the transport network, commuters and businesses by identifying opportunities for:

  • infrastructure improvements to support traffic flow – such as intersection and road improvements
  • managing network demand – such as by encouraging shift in routes and travel times to spread peak congestion
  • providing alternate transport options – such as by strengthening public transport and active travel options

“The Disruption Taskforce has now been meeting for around two months and will inform practical measures the Government will be putting in place to reduce disruption,” Minister 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.

“Next year we will also be asking commuters to take action, to keep themselves and the city moving, by rethinking their route and rethinking their routine.

“This could include using public transport or active travel if its viable, changing how you drive to work, or adjusting your travel times to avoid congestion.”

The first major works associated with building light rail to Woden involves raising London Circuit to provide an at-grade intersection with Commonwealth Avenue.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.