What Canberra's light rail construction will mean for your commute

What Canberra's light rail construction will mean for your commute

Drivers have experienced minor delays but cyclists have faced major problems as the first stage of construction on Canberra's light rail network ramps up.

While most work on the major road was scheduled for outside peak hours, resulting in only small disruptions for drivers since it began earlier this month, Pedal Power ACT executive officer John Armstrong said cyclists have been forced to ride with the traffic along stretches of Northbourne Avenue as no temporary cycle lanes have been provided.

Pedal Power ACT's John Armstrong wants $120 million in cycling infrastructure investment over the next four years.

Pedal Power ACT's John Armstrong wants $120 million in cycling infrastructure investment over the next four years. Credit:Rohan Thomson

"Roadworks need to occur along Northbourne Avenue and those road closures are important but it is just as important to consider the bike rider along with the motor vehicle driver in any of those road closures," Mr Armstrong said.

"A number of people have reported to the Pedal Power ACT office their dissatisfaction with them being pushed into traffic in the same lane as that of motor vehicle drivers.


"By not catering for the bike riding commuter it places a level of danger that is not required if good thought is put into effective temporary traffic management."

A Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate spokesman said work along the light rail corridor had been progressing well despite poor weather in October.

"There has been minimal delays to road users, with temporary traffic management plans in place to ensure traffic flows are maintained during peak times and to ensure the ongoing safety of workers and the public," he said.

"Community feedback and engagement has been positive, with local residents appreciating the need for the work. Residents along the route are being kept informed of progress as the light rail construction occurs. We are also working with cycling groups to ensure cyclists still have safe access to the route."

Underboring and potholing will progressively unfold along a 400-metre stretch of Northbourne Avenue, from the Barry Drive to the Rudd Street intersections, for the next three weeks, as communications, water, gas and electricity utilities are moved.

To curtail delays during peak times, work will take place between 8pm and 6am Monday to Friday with some day shifts in off-peak periods.

The work, which will require temporary lowered speed limits and lane closures, will also see the intersections shut down periodically.

While the intersection closures will not affect traffic heading north or south on Northbourne Avenue, drivers travelling north won't be able to turn right onto Bunda Street and drivers heading south won't be able to turn right onto Rudd Street.

Similarly, northbound motorists won't be able to turn right onto Cooyong Street while that intersection is closed and drivers heading south will not be able to turn right onto Barry Drive.

Some bus stops in Gungahlin also closed last week to allow for light rail works on the verge for the intersection of Kate Crace street and Flemington Road.

"Preparatory road works are expected to continue around the northern end of the corridor in the coming weeks, along with the completion of bulk earthworks and installation of drainage at the Light Rail Depot in Mitchell," the Transport Canberra and City Services spokesman said.

"Night works are also expected to continue at a number of intersections along Northbourne Avenue and Flemington Road."

Katie Burgess is a reporter for the Canberra Times, covering ACT politics.

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