16 May 2024

'Common sense prevailed': Gundaroo Drive speed limit raised after 60 km/h trial

| James Coleman
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roundabout from the air

The section of Gundaroo Drive between Chuculba Crescent and Baldwin Drive, May 2024. Photo: ACT Government.

The ACT Government has made a rare U-turn on the speed limit along a major road between Belconnen and Gungahlin.

We might be used to the limits dropping whenever roadworks come along and never returning from whence they came in the name of ‘Safe Systems’ policy, but not so for Gundaroo Drive.

Sections have been limited to 60 km/h for years now – much to the chagrin of motorists – but they’ve started a gradual return to 80.

The local government is upgrading the road between Ginninderra Drive and the Barton Highway to dual-carriageway in a duplication project co-funded by the ACT and Commonwealth, six years after the first designs were released.

It will also come with 6.4 kilometres of new on-road cycle lanes, new bridges over Ginninderra Creek, traffic lights at the Dumas Street and Owen Dixon Drive intersections, and widening of the existing roundabouts at Chuculba Crescent and Baldwin Drive.

Construction started in January 2021 on the first package of works – the sections between the Barton Highway and Chuculba Crescent and Baldwin Drive and Ginninderra Drive. These were completed in June 2023.

Work began in the middle section between Chuculba Crescent and Baldwin Drive in March 2022 and is expected to finish later this year.

The government says it has been trialling a 60 km/h speed limit along Gundaroo Drive from the Barton Highway to Ginninderra Drive – down from 80 km/h – and has been “monitoring the speed limit reduction for its long-term suitability”.

This week, ACT City Services minister Tara Cheyne announced the results.

“I know plenty of you have been querying what it’s achieving and whether it’s necessary,” she posted to her official Facebook page on Monday.

“We’ve now determined the completed sections meet the safe design limit of 80 km/h that exists elsewhere on Gundaroo Drive, north of Barton Highway, so that is the limit that will be restored.”

The original 80 km/h limit will be “rolled out” along the entire corridor as the road and bridge works are completed.

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Locals welcomed the news, many of whom said motorists had been driving along the road as if it were 80 km/h already.

“Thank goodness common sense prevailed,” one commented.

“Sense restored, thanks. Technically, the only truly safe speed is zero so we need a reasonable balance,” another wrote.

The duplication project also employs a special asphalt called ‘Thin Open Graded Asphalt Surfacing’ (TOGAS), designed to minimise noise.

“Once the project is completed and the speed limit is reinstated across the entire corridor, we will undertake noise monitoring to determine if additional noise mitigation measures need to be implemented,” Minister Cheyne said.


Ginninderra Creek winds its way over the NSW border down through Belconnen into Lake Ginninderra. Photo: ACT Government.

“Significantly higher than average rainfall over the summer” has flooded the creek and delayed the roadworks between Chuculba Crescent and Baldwin Drive.

However, a new left-turn lane from Chuculba Crescent onto Gundaroo Drive will open “shortly”, as well as two underpasses between Chuculba Crescent and Owen Dixon Drive and a section of southbound shared path.

“Currently, we expect the opening of four lanes in this section and switching on of the traffic lights at the Owen Dixon Drive intersection later this year (weather permitting),” the government said in an update.

Visit the ACT City Services website for more information.

Original Article published by James Coleman on Riotact.

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