Page 4026 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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Along with others in attendance, I inspected the bridge, which is an impressive structure. In the past, I have had an opportunity to walk through the hollow inside passage of the bridge, which is quite a sight. The bridge may not have the appearance from the outside, but inside there is a tunnel for services which is big enough to drive a small appliance through. It really is a good feat of engineering. I was pleased to see this bridge open and I have enjoyed seeing its progress across the river as I drive home from the Assembly on sitting days.

The construction of the southbound bridge across the Molonglo River is nearly completed, and both it and the southbound on-ramp from Fairbairn Avenue will be opened early in the new year. The works at the Duntroon No 1 cricket oval will be completed by March 2016 and the overall project is on track to be completed by June 2016.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, how will the completion of the project facilitate improved travel times in the territory?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Dr Bourke for his supplementary. The Majura Parkway is forecast to carry around 40,000 vehicles a day by the year 2030. The new road will play a significant role in the improvement of people’s travel times within our region by easing congestion.

Already motorists are realising the benefits of the new parkway and when fully completed the road will improve traffic flow, safety and capacity on the ACT road network, reduce travel times, improve access to the Majura valley, provide dedicated on-road cycle paths to encourage active travel, provide an off-road, shared use path, support infrastructure for the Canberra International Airport to become a major international freight and commuter hub and improve access to the national and regional freight route. It is estimated that by 2021 it will take seven minutes to travel from the Federal Highway to Fairburn Avenue via Majura Parkway, as opposed to 20 minutes via Majura Road.

Reducing travel and commuting time is an important task for any government in Australia and is one that this government takes seriously and tirelessly works toward achieving. The national and regional benefits of the Majura Parkway are now beginning to be realised, and the full benefit of the project will be seen upon its completion in June next year.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what benefits will this project provide to the larger freight network?

MR GENTLEMAN: It is an important question. I thank Ms Porter for that question. As I have said, it is forecast to carry around 40,000 vehicles a day, including some 6,000 trucks by 2030. The existing two-lane Majura Road carried only 18,000

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