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Traffic lights for every intersection of Northbourne Avenue from Flemington Road south

The ACT government will ensure there are traffic lights at every Northbourne Avenue intersection from Flemington Road south where there is a right hand turn to ensure priority for the tram.

Details of changes to intersections are expected on Wednesday when the National Capital Authority releases the application for works approval for public comment.

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Capital Metro Light rail tram route from Gungahlin

The Government has revealed the route its planned Gungahlin tram will take down Northbourne Avenue to the City. Vision supplied by the ACT Government. NO SOUND

The ACT government needs the authority's approval for works on Commonwealth land, including the major changes to Northbourne Avenue.

Among the most controversial aspects of construction is the removal of the trees on Northbourne Avenue - for which the government is also seeking federal approval.

Detail is yet to be made public about which trees are to be removed when, but National Capital Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow has already expressed concern about the risk of a "scorched earth" appearance with "two kilometres of nothing" once the trees were removed.

Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell stressed again this week that trees would not be clear-felled. The plan is to remove trees in stages so no individual section of Northbourne Avenue is without trees for more than three or four months. They would be replaced with trees four metres high at planting. Most of the route would remain tree-lined for most of the three-year construction.

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"We know that Canberrans have strong feelings about the entryway to Canberra retaining its boulevard aesthetic." Mr Corbell said.

The works approval application will include plans for the Northbourne intersections - although details were not released by Mr Corbell on Monday, other than noting that every intersection with a right-hand turn would have traffic lights installed.

The right-hand turn off Northbourne into Rudd Street in Turner would also be removed.

Capital Metro's environmental impact statement last year set out plans for a new tram-only phase for traffic signals on Northbourne Avenue where the tram crosses major intersections. The new signal would give priority to trams, so that "if a [light rail vehicle] approaches an intersection in a phase which does not suit the LRV movement, a special LRV only phase would be called allowing the LRV to proceed on its route with minimal delay".

Also on Wednesday, the ACT government will open public comments on amendments to its development approval for the tram.

Capital Metro was given development approval just before Christmas, but with a consortium now chosen to build and operate the line, there are some changes.

The detailed changes were not made public on Monday, but Mr Corbell said they included locating the Exhibition Park tram stop on the side of the road rather than in the median strip.

The change would mean better and safer access to Exhibition Park for the large numbers of passengers visiting events such as the Canberra Show, Summernats, the National Folk Festival, and the Lifeline Book Fair.

Other changes included "minimal changes to landscaping of the light rail depot, substations and construction compounds, as well as minor adjustments to kerbs, roads, and pedestrian areas", he said.

The amended development application to the ACT government and the works approval application to the National Capital Authority will both be open for comment from February 18 to March 18.

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