Ellerton Drive Extension
- Project typeCapital Works
- Project value$86,000,000
- Project scheduleThis project is due for completion in 2020
- Contractor nameWBHO Infrastructure Pty Ltd
The 4.6km Ellerton Drive extension provides an alternative route around the Queanbeyan Central Business District, particularly for new southern population growth areas. The extension runs from the current end point of Ellerton Drive, near Yass Road/Bungendore Road, in Queanbeyan East to the Old Cooma Road/Edwin Land Parkway intersection in Karabar. Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and NSW Roads and Maritime Services are working together to deliver the project.
The key features of the extension include:
- One lane in each direction with climbing lanes
- Bridge crossing over Queanbeyan River and Barracks Flat Drive
- Shared off-road cyclist and pedestrian pathway
- Provision of space for on-road cyclists
- Additional access points for Fairlane Estate
- Emergency egress for Greenleigh Estate at Lonergan Drive and the East Queanbeyan reservoir
- Stormwater drainage system, including pavement surface drainage
- Three fauna under-passes and three rope crossings
- Potential for a pedestrian undercrossing at Jumping Creek Estate
- Noise mitigation measures
- Edwin Land Parkway Intersection upgrade.
The Australian and NSW Governments have provided $25m each in funding for the extension. The extension is estimated to cost $86m with the remaining funding to be sourced via a low-interest loan from Council and will be fully repaid, including interest, by developer contributions.
The RMS has awarded the construction tender to WBHO Infrastructure Pty Ltd, with works starting in October 2017. It is envisaged that the project will be completed in 2020.
Overview of the project
The Ellerton Drive Extension has been ‘on the maps’ since the 1970s and has been supported in some form by eight successive councils. In recent years, the Extension has been subject to many studies, reviews, modelling and community consultation, with approvals provided by State and Federal Government departments.
Googong, located in the south of Queanbeyan, currently has around 400 occupied houses. In 10-15 years, that will rise to 5,500 – meaning an additional 15,000 residents within the Queanbeyan area. The impact these additional 15,000 residents will have on the Queanbeyan road network is significant and the Ellerton Drive Extension will play a major role in ensuring the new residents, along with our current residents, can travel to their destination without unacceptable delays.
Modelling undertaken by industry experts shows that main arterial roads such as Cooma St, Monaro St (Queanbeyan’s main street) and the Queens Bridge would suffer network failure well before Googong reaches its full capacity without the construction of the Ellerton Drive Extension. The Ellerton Drive Extension will allow traffic travelling from Googong, Jerrabomberra, Karabar and many other areas of Queanbeyan to central and northern Canberra, the coast, Bungendore and Braidwood to bypass the Queanbeyan CBD. The Extension will also provide an alternate route for trucks travelling to and from the quarry on Old Cooma Rd, in fact it is a requirement of the quarry’s development approval that when the Extension is complete, trucks must use this route.
In 2009, Council developed the Googong and Tralee Traffic Study (2031) which looked at the impact the increased population would have on the road network. The Study looked at many options, including Dunns Creek Rd and a Northern Bypass. Traffic modelling showed that the Ellerton Drive Extension provided the best solution to ease pressure on central Queanbeyan and main arterial roads. That’s not to say Dunns Creek Rd is not required if further residential development occurs beyond that already planned at Googong and Tralee, however the Ellerton Drive Extension is the priority. Council has identified a preferred route for Dunns Creek Rd and will continue planning, however any construction is not expected until after 2036. Early estimates suggest Dunns Creek Rd would cost well over $200m to construct. The Study also recommended a number of other road improvements, including the duplication of Old Cooma Rd from Googong to Karabar and some intersection improvements around Queanbeyan.
Some will point out that the Ellerton Drive Extension will dump additional traffic on to Yass Rd. The fact is, the traffic that will travel along Yass Rd is going there anyway, the Ellerton Drive Extension will allow it to get there much quicker. Council has been in discussion with the ACT Government to duplicate Pialligo Avenue to handle the increased traffic and planning is already underway to duplicate the first section of Pialligo Ave from the NSW/ACT border towards the Canberra Airport.
The environmental impact of the road has been addressed via the Species Impact Statement and Review of Environmental Factors which were approved by government departments (these documents are available for download below). The road will include rope crossings and underpasses for fauna as well as exclusion fencing to encourage fauna to stay out of the road corridor.
With the tender process for the major construction component of the work now concluded, the current project budget can be confirmed as $86m. The NSW and Federal Government have contributed $50m towards the construction. The remaining $36m will be funded via a long-term, low interest loan taken out by Council which will be fully repaid by developer contributions, including interest. This is standard practice by councils across Australia to ensure infrastructure is built well before the road network fails. There will be no increase to rates to fund the construction of this project and maintenance costs will be built into Council’s existing budgets.
WBHO Infrastructure Pty Ltd have been appointed by Roads and Maritime Services to build the extension. For construction related matters contact WBHO on:
Ph: 1800 116 337
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your details for project updates including planned works, changes to work times and traffic conditions as well as project milestones.
For enquiries about the project that are not related to construction contact QPRC on:
Ph: 1800 316 644
Ellerton Drive Extension, Queanbeyan 2620 View Map