INFRASTRUCTURE and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese today announced the Australian Government will provide $144 million towards the cost of the Majura Parkway, matching the ACT Government's contribution dollar-for-dollar.
The Majura Parkway project will create an 11.5 kilometre long duplicated road with seven bridges and three interchanges at the intersections with Fairbairn Avenue, Federal Highway and Monaro Highway.
Construction of the long-awaited $288 million project will commence next year and is expected to be completed in 2016. The project will replace the existing Majura Road as the freight bypass around the centre of Canberra.
"Recommended by Infrastructure Australia and set to be built with monies from our Building Australia Fund, the Majura Parkway will make it easier for Canberrans to get around their city as well as well as taking trucks off local streets," said Mr Albanese.
"Construction of this new road is an investment in Canberra's future, with Infrastructure Australia putting its long term economic, social and environmental benefits at close to $1 billion."
Mr Albanese said the confirmation of funding for the project is the "culmination of a persistent and passionate community campaign led by local MPs including Gai Brodtmann, Andrew Leigh, Mike Kelly and Senator Kate Lundy."
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the Majura Parkway will see increased accessibility for motorists from Canberra's north into the city and southern suburbs, as well as an improved distribution of freight traffic.
"This project of national significance will benefit Canberra as a freight hub and Australia's national capital, but will also improve commute times in and out of Canberra on a daily basis for thousands of people who live and work in the ACT," Ms Gallagher said.
Earlier this week, Infrastructure Australia released its annual report to COAG, 'Communicating the Imperative for Action', including an updated 'Infrastructure Priority List' which listed Majura Parkway as 'ready to proceed'.
As a condition of funding, the report suggested that Majura Parkway be tolled, "with a view to ensuring that a reasonable proportion of capital costs, and all of the road's operational and maintenance costs, are recovered through tolls." However, both the ACT and Australian Governments have ruled out a toll.