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Feds’ infrastructure boost fast-tracks Monaro Highway upgrade

Ian Bushnell 26 November 2019
Crash on the Monaro

A truck at the scene of a fatal crash on the Monaro Highway at Royalla in September. Photos: Region Media.

Work on the planned Monaro Highway upgrade will start sooner than expected with both the Federal and ACT governments bringing forward funding for the project.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Commonwealth would fast-track $30 million to the 2020-21 financial year as part of its infrastructure reset to boost the national economy, and the ACT would contribute $15 million.

The already announced, jointly funded $200 million project includes widening works and targeted safety upgrades to bust congestion along the corridor.

It will also mean upgrades between Royalla Drive and Williamsdale Road, and upgrades to the Old Cooma Road intersection will be completed in time for the 2020 ski season.

The Monaro Highway is one of the ACT’s most dangerous roads. After 44 crashes including five fatalities on the highway between 2011 and 2016, a black spot study was conducted which identified several safety improvements to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes.

Mr Morrison said the funding would expedite upgrades which increase safety, improve freight productivity and boost tourism.

“By bringing funding forward, we can get on with our infrastructure commitments like the Monaro Highway upgrade which will cut travel times and increase road safety while driving more jobs in the ACT,” the Prime Minister said.

“Delivering critical road and rail projects sooner, as part of our $100 billion infrastructure pipeline, is responsible and considered economic management in partnership with the states and territories.”

Acting ACT Chief Minister Yvette Berry said it was important that the Federal Government contributed funding to infrastructure projects that benefit people living in the national capital and wider region.

Ms Berry said receiving the Australian Government funding sooner would better support planning and expedite construction for the project.

“It is fantastic that the upgrades between Royalla Drive and Williamsdale Road, and upgrades to the Old Cooma Road intersection will now be complete in time for the 2020 ski season,” Ms Berry said.

Police

Police at the crash scene in September.

ACT Minister for Roads and Active Travel Chris Steel said he was especially pleased that the accelerated federal funding would get the Monaro Highway Upgrade done sooner for Canberrans.

“The upgrades will keep Canberrans moving by removing at grade intersections to improve safety, traffic flow and speed along the Monaro, between Isabella Drive and Hindmarsh Drive,” Minister Steel said.

Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja said he was delighted to see the upgrades moving forward, after campaigning for funding to fix congestion and safety issues on the Monaro since 2016.

“In 2016, I committed $1 million to a scoping study into easing congestion for Canberrans on the Monaro and was thrilled to be able to deliver $100 million last year to carry out the recommendations of the study, a commitment I’m pleased has been matched by the ACT Government,” the Senator said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal Government recognised the need for key rural roads to receive the upgrades they need to be safer, more efficient transport corridors as soon as possible.

“Not only are we bringing forward $30 million for the $200 million Monaro Highway Upgrade, we are also investing in the Barton Highway, Kings Highway and the William Slim Drive Duplication,” Mr McCormack said.

“These upgrades will improve connectivity for freight and commuters, slashing travel times and getting people home sooner and safer.”

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on The RiotACT.

What's Your Opinion?

10 Responses to Feds’ infrastructure boost fast-tracks Monaro Highway upgrade

Rodney Waldron Rodney Waldron 9:26 pm 28 Nov 19

It won’t fix the no hopers who can’t pay attention or think that driving at 90 is safe and all those behind then won’t be affected.

Anthony Grant Anthony Grant 5:21 pm 27 Nov 19

Why waste money ... BUILDING A NEW DULE FREEWAYS 🛣 Canberra to Bega then Melbourne to Sydney

Gail Hayes Gail Hayes 1:03 pm 27 Nov 19

About time. It get plenty of use

Iain Saunders Iain Saunders 8:11 am 27 Nov 19

Bring back the trains or by pass the towns including cooma

Chris Ellis Chris Ellis 10:12 pm 26 Nov 19

Wouldn’t have anything to do with Eden Monaro being a bellwether seat?

    Artessence Gallery Artessence Gallery 8:13 pm 27 Nov 19

    Chris Ellis exactly! We drive the Monaro regularly and it is hardly congested!

Lorraine McDonald Lorraine McDonald 5:47 pm 26 Nov 19

Lucky Canberra end. What about the rest of it. The Long Mile desperately needs to be double lanes, both ways. It is probably the worst death trap out there, mostly because idiots see this great long, straight bit of road and put their foot down. Must be first, seems to be the attitude. "Don't anyone get in my way". "This is my bit of road". "Race you to the other end". Yet, they don't even have those thoughts, because if they did, it would dawn on them that it really isn't a good idea. They just see the straight, and go. No funding would be sniffed at, but really, how far does $200 million go. This highway has been seriously underfunded ever since the ski fields were opened, but there never seems to be any urgency about it, no matter how many die or are injured.

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