Reprieve may be on the way for Jerrabomberra and Googong residents facing kilometres of traffic heading into Canberra each morning.
The Roads and Maritime Service announced in late March it was calling for tenders on the $12 million project to upgrade the intersection of Tompsitt and Lanyon Drives.
The roadworks will replace the existing roundabout with traffic lights in the hope of reducing traffic congestion. The RMS admits the current intersection does not meet the demand of the 25,000 motorists who use it daily.
Jerrabomberra Residents Association president Margot Sachse said traffic could often back up to Bicentennial Drive deep in the suburb.
She said the works combined with the duplication of Old Cooma Road and the construction of an entry into new development ‘Poplars’ would create an issue.
“We’re going to have 18 months of roadwork hell on our hands,” Ms Sachse said.
“We have been warning about the traffic issues for years and the reality is about to land on our doorstep.”
Ms Sachse also suggested building Dunns Creek Road as a way for Googong residents to get to the Monaro Highway would be a more suitable option.
The JRA actively opposed the Ellerton Drive extension which Ms Sachse said would increase traffic in the suburb.
“Nowhere in the world do they funnel traffic into a suburb,” she said
“We believe Dunns Creek Road would solve Queanbeyan’s traffic problem.”
Labor candidate for Monaro and Jerrabomberra resident Bryce Wilson said the upgrade was much needed but was critical of delays in delivery.
Member for Monaro John Barilaro first announced funding for the project in March 2015.
“This project is now three years on from being put on the table and we learn that tenders have not even been awarded,” Mr Wilson said.
“Just like the local police station we have unfortunately seen very little progress, you get the feeling John would struggle to deliver a pizza on time let alone a major project.”
Mr Barilaro said the awarding of federal government funding meant the project required further planning, which led to the delay.
“This funding increase meant we went back to the drawing board and expanded the scope of the project and ensured the intersection would be suitable for decades to come,” Mr Barilaro said.
“What I did not want to see happen was the construction of a rushed project, similar to those that we saw delivered by the last Labor government.”
Mr Barilaro said work was expected to begin on the intersection in June.