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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2882 ..

MR DE DOMENICO: Thank you for that supplementary statement, Mr Wood. Can I say again that there are no intentions either now or in the future, under this Government, for that road to go ahead. I have just consulted my colleague Mr Humphries. He informs me once again that since I spoke to him last, which was about three minutes ago, he has no intentions of making any such changes to the Territory Plan. That being the case, as I said, should we change our mind within the next 20 years, this Assembly will be the first to know.

Roadworks - Barton Highway

MR MOORE: My question is also about roads and is also directed to Mr De Domenico. Could the Minister advise the Assembly when the roadworks on the Barton Highway from the roundabout to the ACT-New South Wales border will be completed? These works have now being going on for six months, with basically no end in sight. With traffic increasing in the lead-up to Christmas, the conditions are probably ripe for a major accident. The other odd thing that appears to have happened there is that work which was already completed has been torn up again and replaced. This has meant an enormous amount of disruption to commuter traffic, particularly commuter traffic from New South Wales and the outer Canberra suburbs.

MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Moore for his question. The roadworks are funded by the Federal Government, as Mr Moore would know. Construction had to start before 30 June 1995 to secure the funding. The ACT Government successfully sought additional Federal Government funds, which has allowed the extent of the work to be increased. This also contributed to the extension of the construction period.

Construction began on 29 May, and wet conditions in the following months have limited construction activity. In August 1995 traffic was switched to the newly reconstructed slow lane. After three days, small isolated pavement failures began to appear in the slow lane. Traffic was then switched back to the fast lane while the cause of the failure was determined. The completed works were investigated and tested, and remedial works were identified. The remedial works on the slow lane and completion of the reconstruction of the fast lane were delayed by rain in late October and November 1995, which saturated the exposed pavement. The fast lane should have been open by 8 December 1995, and repair works in the slow lane are programmed for completion before the end of December 1995, provided suitable weather conditions prevail.

Yes, I am aware that it has taken a long time. For all those reasons that I put out, it has taken a long time. I have tried to expedite works as quickly as we could, but we have to make sure that the job is done properly - unlike the experiences we have had with other roadworks in Canberra where they have had to be dug up again. One notable example of that was parts of Drakeford Drive in Tuggeranong. By the end of December, hopefully, it will all be finished.

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