An incoming Liberal ACT government would fund duplication of Tuggeranong's Ashley Drive between Erindale Drive and Johnson Drive, including noise barriers, transport spokesman Alistair Coe has announced.
The government is duplicating the road, which carries more than 20,000 vehicles a day, between Erindale Drive and Ellerston Avenue. Mr Coe said the Canberra Liberals would spend an additional $4 million to complete the full duplication, adding about an extra kilometre of upgrades.
The cost is based on government figures obtained by the opposition under freedom of information laws. Mr Coe said the additional cost was estimated about $3.1 million and the opposition had added an appropriate contingency. The land needed for the additional works is available in the existing corridor.
In September 2012, former chief minister Katy Gallagher said the Labor government would spend $19.6 million to upgrade the road between Erindale Drive and Johnson Drive, citing public safety and improved access for ACTION buses.
The work was due to be completed by the 2015-16 financial year.
However, a May 2015 announcement by Chief Minister Andrew Barr and then roads minister Mick Gentleman pushed out the planned completion date. Work started this month on the first stage of a $24.6 million duplication, which will include construction of noise barriers and a pedestrian bridge. Aspects of the work will be completed by mid-2016.
Mr Coe accused the government of being distracted by the city-to-Gungahlin light-rail project and not concentrating on important local projects.
"The Canberra Liberals will be completing the full duplication, which is approximately a final kilometre, to get the job done," he said.
"The government – I think, in a peculiar move – is only duplicating the road down to Ellerston Avenue, so we are proposing that the complete duplication of Ashley Drive happen.
"There is a real concern at the moment, with the works being done, that there will be considerable bottlenecking occurring at Ellerston, as you go from two lanes down to one in that stretch."
Mr Coe said the government should stop duplicating sections of roads around Canberra, including Horse Park Drive and Gundaroo Drive.
"We think they're either playing games, and seeking to have another bite of the cherry down the track in the form of an election announcement, or they are simply not planning properly.
"By continuing the duplication all the way through, you can avoid bottlenecking and rat running. I hope they will be making this announcement, as I don't think commitments like this should be reserved for one side of politics."
Last year, the opposition announced it would spend $25 million to complete the duplication of the Cotter Road, through a new 1.7-kilometre upgrade. Mr Coe and Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson have also made commitments to spend about $146 million on the duplication of Gundaroo Drive and on building a new flyover on the Barton Highway near Gungahlin.
The party is yet to release a public transport policy to take to the election, but will spend $51 million on leasing and operating 50 additional buses for ACTION, including pay for more drivers.