The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge we know today is actually the fourth bridge to cross the Molonglo River (pre-Lake Burley Griffin)
The first three bridges lasted an average of five years each. Today’s bridge has lasted almost 60.
Since construction, the Bridge hasn’t undergone any major work. As one of two major crossings over the Lake, it is one of the busiest transport hubs in Canberra.
Maintaining this vital piece of infrastructure is of great importance and a responsibility that the National Capital Authority (NCA) takes very seriously.
The proposed works will strengthen and widen the Bridge, to reflect current and forecast demands, and upgrade vehicle, pedestrian and cycleway paths and safety barriers.
Canberra is growing and our road infrastructure needs to keep up. The proposed improvements to the Bridge are essential to extend its life and to meet the current and future transport needs of our National Capital.
The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal project involves strengthening the Bridge to adequately cater for Canberra’s transport needs now and into the future. Widening of the shared user paths will deliver improved access and connectivity for all users travelling on the bridge. The project will address safety issues including improvements to the shared path approach ramps, replacement of safety barriers and handrails and the installation of new lighting on the Bridge. As part of this project, landscaping works will improve the urban design and access to the Lake’s foreshore.
Commonwealth Avenue Bridge is one of two major crossings over Lake Burley Griffin. Since the Bridge’s opening in late 1963, there have been no major works completed to the bridge apart from routine maintenance. The Bridge is now one of the busiest active transport links in the City network, connecting north and south Canberra, and providing access to the Lake and Commonwealth Park. The current shared user paths do not support safe multi-modal access over the Bridge. The project will deliver improved separation between pedestrian and cyclist movements. The project will include structural works that are required to meet relevant design standards. The renewal works will also extend the design life of the Bridge.
On 8 April 2022, the Minister for the Environment included Lake Burley Griffin and Adjacent Lands in the Commonwealth Heritage List. The Bridge is included within the boundary of the listed area and contributes to its heritage values.
A heritage assessment has been prepared to specifically assess the heritage values of the Bridge. This assessment found that the Bridge is historically significant and valued for its long slender spans and a smooth-lined and uncluttered design approach.
During the next phase of the project, the National Capital Authority will commence developing a project design. As part of the design development heritage impact assessments will be prepared that consider the proposed design against the Bridge’s heritage values to minimise potential heritage impacts. In accordance with best practice, the proposed design changes should be discernible, but sympathetic to the heritage values.
Construction would result in a temporary increase in traffic on the surrounding road network. Construction vehicle movements are expected to peak during material delivery and during the main construction works. Temporary traffic restrictions such as lane closures and lower speed limits would need to be put in place for the safety of construction workers. A Traffic Management Plan would be developed to minimise delays to road and shared pedestrian and cycleway path users. Access over the lake would be maintained during construction.
The Raising London Circuit Project will raise London Circuit by six metres to form an at-grade intersection with Commonwealth Avenue. Approval for the project was granted by the National Capital Authority in March 2022 following the submission of a Works Approval and Environmental Assessment in late 2021. A construction contract has been awarded with main works expected to commence late 2022 and will take two years to complete. The delivery of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge works are expected to coincide with these works by the ACT Government. The National Capital Authority will work with the ACT Government to minimise impacts to the community where possible. To stay up to date with Raising London Circuit and other related projects such as light rail please visit the ACT Government website Raising London Circuit.
The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal project is unrelated to the ACT Government's plan to extend Canberra light rail network from Civic to Woden. To learn more about the light rail project please visit the ACT Government website Raising London Circuit.
In March 2020, the project was accepted for Infrastructure Australia's evaluation. In January 2021, the Australian Government committed $137 million to deliver the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal.
A construction start date will be determined during the next phase of design. We will continue to keep community members and other stakeholders informed of our progress throughout the remainder of the project. You can stay informed by subscribing to our mailing list using the form above, or by following us on Twitter
Community and stakeholders are encouraged to stay updated with the latest information about our work. A construction start date will be determined during the next phase of the project. We will continue to keep community members and other stakeholders informed of our progress throughout the remainder of the project. You can stay informed by subscribing to our mailing list using the form above, or by following us on Twitter
The Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal Project has been submitted to the Parliamentary Works Committee for review. A project update will be issued once a determination is made by the committee.
As part of design options for the project we are considering active transport corridor improvements to the shared path network surrounding the Bridge.
The NCA will continue to inform the public of this project. If you have any questions on the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal (CABR), please contact our project team.
From 13 April to Sunday 16 April, NCA staff were out and about around Lake Burley Griffin offering updated project information to the public in four face-to-face sessions.
The sessions offered detail on plans to strengthen and widen the bridge, as well as significantly improve the shared path network and upgrade the landscaping in the area around the bridge. While out in the community, we received excellent feedback from Road, Lake and Path users about the proposed plans.
The next step in of the project is to make a formal submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, which will occur in May. The Committee processes allow the Parliament and the community a measure of confidence that public funds are being spent responsibly and that the project meets the needs of the community.
Video Update 14 September 2022
Greg Tallentire explains the work scope of the work being undertaken;
6 October 2022 - Media Release
National Capital Authority announced the winning consultancy firm that will oversee the design of the $137m Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal (CABR) project in the national capital. Read the full media release
The tender process seeking a design consultant for the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal project has now closed. An announcement about this will follow shortly.
Tender process starts to find a suitably qualified and experienced multi-discipline design consultant
The NCA has commenced the Request for Tender process for a suitably qualified and experienced multi-discipline design consultant. The NCA is employing an open tender process via the AusTender website.
The successful tenderer will be responsible for providing design services to the project.
The NCA is committed to community and stakeholder engagement and will continue to keep community members and other stakeholders informed about the project.
If you would like to receive project updates by email, please contact our project team at CommonwealthBridge@nca.gov.au to register your interest.
The project is currently in the development and planning phase. Activities during this phase include design and development of a preferred project option to strengthen and widen the Bridge, increase its load bearing capacity to reflect current and forecast traffic load demands, upgrade vehicle and pedestrian safety barriers, and to accommodate wider shared pedestrian and cycleway paths.
Consultation with the ACT Government, utility service providers, the community and other stakeholders is ongoing and will continue throughout the Project. Timing of the works will be coordinated with the ACT Government and phased to minimise disruption to the community.
The NCA’s vision is to renew the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge to adequately cater to Canberra’s long-term transport needs while maintaining the Bridge’s considerable cultural and heritage value.
Following the acceptance of the business case for the project by Infrastructure Australia on 20 March 2020, the Australian Government announced on 27 January 2021 a $137m commitment for this high-profile project.
Some key notes about the project: - The Bridge is one of two major bridges crossing Lake Burley Griffin and is a critical component of the transport network of Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory overall. The Bridge also has considerable cultural and heritage value. - The Bridge was built in the early 1960s. Since its opening, patronage on the Bridge has grown substantially. Current traffic on the Bridge makes it one of the busiest transport assets in Canberra. Road and lake closures will be advised as the project progresses. Information on the NCA’s website regarding the project will be updated regularly.
The National Capital Authority (NCA) is planning to conduct an open tender for the purpose of procuring a suitably qualified and highly experienced multi-disciplinary team to deliver design services for the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge Renewal project.
The NCA intends to consider a design approach that encompasses both functionality and heritage value. We look forward to engaging a team of various project-specific experts through an open tender process to deliver essential design services for the renewal of the Bridge, while addressing important qualities of the Bridge that ensure its character is maintained within the significant landscape it sits in.
A Request for Tender is anticipated to be released on the AusTender website in the coming weeks. The role of the NCA is to manage the Australian
Government’s continuing interest in the planning, development and maintaining of Canberra as Australia’s National Capital.
The NCA performs this role through its statutory function to ensure assets on National Land are created and maintained, are of an appropriate standard, and meet the expectations of users.