Page 1472 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 May 2015

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Constitution Avenue between London Circuit and Vernon Circle opens the door for the government’s plans for growth in this area and provides the cornerstone for development of the properties facing Vernon Circle. This project will provide the landscape framework, including access and connectivity for City Hill. These works are an essential part of the early works for realising the ACT government’s city plan and the city to the lake project.

In particular, the project will deliver a dedicated bus lane in each direction from Allara Street to Anzac Parade, a separated two-way cycle path in the southern verge, high quality pedestrian facilities and public realm, a central median planted with pin oak trees, a tree replacement program for the ageing English oak trees on the verges, new LED street and verge lighting for the length of the project, and a cross-section that has been designed to provide for the extension of light rail into the future.

The design of the upgrade complements the territory’s active travel strategy by providing for walking and cycling above other transport modes. Following active travel, public transport is given the next highest order of priority. This is delivered by providing a dedicated bus lane, which leaves a single lane of traffic in each direction. In the future the bus lanes can be replaced with light rail which could run on either side of the median, with stations proposed to be located within the new median.

A number of the existing English oak trees along the corridor were required to be removed to provide for the alignment. Two hundred and forty-six new English oak and pin oak street trees will be installed along the entire length of the project. The tree replacement program is being timed to accord with the optimal planting seasons. This will provide the new mature stock with a chance to establish and flourish in their new environment, with some trees already in excess of 10 metres high on delivery to the site.

A new road connection between Parkes Way and Allara Street is being constructed as part of the Constitution Avenue upgrade project. The connection is required to provide supplementary access to Parkes Way into the city precinct as a result of changes to the property access on Constitution Avenue. The new median being constructed in Constitution Avenue limits some of the opportunities for vehicles to access existing driveways via right turns, so alternative access was required.

The Constitution Avenue design team has been working closely with a range of stakeholders to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved. It should, however, be understood that, as the city centre continues to grow and as the planning improvements are realised, some of the existing environments will be affected. Careful management of these situations is critical to ensure that all Canberrans benefit from the development of the city moving forward.

The construction of the avenue upgrade works has been divided into two main contracts. Stage 1, or the early works contract, was developed to coordinate and manage necessary and complex service relocation along the avenue. This contract was tendered in January 2014 and the contract was let in March last year. Works commenced on the site in April last year and were completed in April this year. The

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