Today, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese, Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann and ACT Minister for Community Services Joy Burch representing ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, officially opened the $18.5 million upgrade to the highway between Canberra Avenue and Newcastle Street in Fyshwick – the final link in the duplication of this major arterial road.
The centrepiece of the upgrade is the duplication of 1.5 kilometres of highway which has been achieved by retaining the existing road for northbound traffic and building a new carriageway for motorists heading south.
Mr Albanese said the upgrade would provide better access to the airport and reduce congestion, particularly for motorists who commuted between Queanbeyan and Canberra.
"This upgrade is good news for the tens of thousands of commuters and truckies who use this road every day to travel between the north and south of the ACT. The duplication means less congested roads and better travel times," Mr Albanese said.
The $18.5 million upgrade to the Monaro Highway through Fyshwick was funded by the Federal Labor Government as part of the Nation Building program, with the project itself managed by the ACT Government.
Works will continue on the site for another month during which time the landscaping component of the project will be completed.
Minister Burch said the upgrade to this major arterial road was a crucial eastern link to the ACT's road infrastructure network.
"The Monaro Highway is a major freight route for thousands of ACT businesses and the upgrade means businesses will get from point A to point B more reliably, quickly and efficiently," Ms Burch said.
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the Monaro Highway duplication will complement the Majura Parkway project, due to start in late 2012, which is jointly funded by the Gillard ($144 million) and Gallagher ($144 million) Labor governments."
"When complete, the Majura Parkway will join the Federal Highway to the Monaro Highway, completing the eastern side of a dual carriageway ring road. This link will be especially important for interstate visitors travelling through the ACT to access the southern NSW ski fields," the Chief Minister said.
Today's opening builds on the delivery of other important projects including the duplication of Lanyon Drive and road upgrades around the Canberra Airport Precinct.
Ms Brodtmann said the upgrade significantly improved Canberra's transport network and would serve a growing number of motorists in the years ahead.
"The completion of this upgrade has only been made possible by the Federal Labor Government's continued commitment to the Territory's road network," Ms Brodtmann said.
"We're investing an unprecedented $200 million to build infrastructure and improve roads to make the Territory an even better place to live."
- Statement ends -
Section: Joy Burch, MLA | Media Releases
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