FEDERAL Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese last week joined ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher to announce that major construction on Canberra's largest ever road project – the $288 million Majura Parkway – is now underway.
Mr Albanese said the project, which has been assessed and recommended by Infrastructure Australia, is expected to generate long term economic, social and environmental benefits worth almost $1 billion.
The project will result in a new 11.5 kilometre, dual carriageway road linking the Federal Highway in Canberra's north to the Monaro Highway in Canberra's south. It will also include 11 bridges, 3 grade separated interchanges and dedicated on-road cycle lanes.
The Australian and ACT governments are each contributing $144 million towards the project, which is being undertaken by Fulton Hogan and due to be completed in mid-2016.
Ms Gallagher welcomed the progression of the Majura Parkway project, saying it will play a significant role in improving the main national and regional freight route.
"Surrounded by NSW, the ACT depends on the national freight network to access the goods that keep the ACT's economy strong," the Chief Minister said.
"It is anticipated that the amount of freight that will be carried on our roads will double over the next 10 to 15 years. The Majura Parkway alone is forecast to carry around 40,000 vehicles a day, including up to 6,000 trucks, by 2030."
Ms Gallagher also said the Majura Parkway will help relieve traffic congestion on residential streets in the inner north and improve access for both local and interstate traffic to industrial areas such as Fyshwick and to the Canberra Airport precinct.