The controversial Ellerton Drive Extension has moved closer to completion, with most of the foundation work complete and the first segments of the new bridge due to be launched early in 2019. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2020.
NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said work on the bridge had made major progress, with the majority of piling work complete and the second bridge pier to be completed this month.
“We worked together as a community for this for many years and the Liberals and Nationals, working together, are helping make it a reality,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We can see the progress. The noise wall along the existing section of Ellerton Drive is also nearing completion, which is a great result for the local community.
“Other preparatory work includes more than 225,000 cubic metres of earthwork moved, two of three fauna passes completed and 1.5 kilometres of drains installed.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack said the project, which started in November 2017, would accommodate the future traffic needs of Queanbeyan and surrounding communities.
“Around the country, the Liberals and Nationals are investing to help people get home sooner and safer,” Mr McCormack said.
“This project is a 4.6-kilometre extension connecting Queanbeyan East and Karabar at the Edwin Land Parkway intersection with Old Cooma Road.
“It will connect to the existing 700 metres of Ellerton Drive and provide an alternative route around the Queanbeyan CBD, allowing drivers to avoid up to 19 intersections and three sets of traffic lights.”
Mayor of Queanbeyan-Palerang Tim Overall said major activity on the project, including completion of earthwork activities, installation of drainage and work to build bridge piers, would continue.
“Nearby residents will start to see more progress on the bridge with the first segments of the new bridge being launched early in 2019 from the north side of the Queanbeyan River. Construction of the bridge will move south over the river towards Fairlane Estate as each new segment is pushed forward into place,” Cr Overall said.
Labor candidate for Monaro Bryce Wilson did not endorse the project initially, but has said “it’s another example of this government not having its priorities or focus in regional areas”.
In relation to the repeated delays, Mr Wilson said: “You look at the Tompsitt and Lanyon Drive roundabout, the police station and now Ellerton Drive and it’s another slippage in delivery.”