Kings Avenue Overpass
Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Simon Crean, officially opened the Kings Avenue overpass in Canberra on 20 September 2011.
The Kings Avenue overpass replaced the Russell roundabout, at the intersection of Parkes Way/Morshead Drive and Kings Avenue.
Parkes Way was lowered and the new bridge now carries Kings Avenue traffic at its existing level over Parkes Way through to the Russell Defence precinct. The new intersection, where Kings Avenue passes over Parkes Way, allows traffic movements in all directions and provides improved pedestrian safety from the Russell precinct.
The official opening marked the first time all the lanes and pedestrian paths were accessible. Some work is still to be completed at the intersection. The final wearing course will be laid in the coming weeks and further landscaping work are to be completed. Signage has been installed on the site to alert users to some uneven road surfaces.
The project addressed a major black spot area in Canberra. The Russell roundabout had the highest number of accidents of any intersection in the ACT, with nearly two accidents on average each week.
The overpass substantially improves one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Canberra and reduces travel time.
The design of the new intersection reinforces the vista between Parliament House and Russell, and better defines the eastern side of the Parliamentary Triangle. Kings Avenue bridge act as a landmark and 'gateway' to central Canberra.
The overpass has been designed in close consultation with the ACT Government and meets the current needs of users, with the ability to change as further capacity is required.
The Kings Avenue overpass was constructed over 24 months at a cost of $30 million.
- A single point urban interchange (single bridge) was selected for this project as it offers the most efficient traffic management option.
- Traffic impact and road capacity analysis demonstrates that this infrastructure will help alleviate the traffic congestion that would occur in the area with the completion of the new Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) building and other known developments along Constitution Avenue.
- As the cost of the Kings Avenue/Parkes Way intersection exceeds $15 million, the project was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.
- The NCA appeared before the PWC on 6 August 2008. The ACT Government was also represented at the PWC hearing and supported the proposal.
- At the PWC hearing, the Griffin Society rejected the need for the works. The NCA lodged further information to the PWC regarding the Griffin Society’s comments. The PWC’s report to Parliament recommending that the project proceed without modification was passed by the House of Representatives on 4 September 2008.
- The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) approved the NCA’s referral in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
- The lead design consultant for the new intersection is Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW). JPW are the designers of the award winning National Portrait Gallery.
- A national tender process was conducted for a suitable Construction Head Contractor. The successful tender was the long established local firm, Woden Contractors Pty Ltd. The contract was signed on 24 August 2008. Construction completion is anticipated by mid 2011.
- NCA has been appropriated $26.6 million for design and construction of the new intersection.