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8 May 2007 016TRS/Budget

The Australian Government will spend $58.8 million over the next four years ($5.9 million in 2007-08) to redevelop Constitution Avenue and replace the Russell roundabout with an overpass. It is the Government's first step toward building the Griffin Legacy plan.

In addition, the Australian Government will provide $19.8 million in 2007-08 for other roads in the Australian Capital Territory, as well as $3 million in the capital region to plan the duplication of the Barton Highway from the ACT border to the northern end of the Murrumbateman bypass.

Upgrading Constitution Avenue and the Russell roundabout

The Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, said the two projects in central Canberra would be managed by the National Capital Authority and would directly benefit Canberra motorists every day.

"Our funding will redevelop Constitution Avenue and create a new quality streetscape. There will be two traffic lanes in each direction and on-street parking on both sides of the avenue. The project will include pavements, street lighting, street furniture and landscaping," Mr Lloyd said.

"The duplication of Constitution Avenue will establish it as the great boulevard that Walter Burley Griffin envisaged for the national triangle. Work on the duplication will begin next year and will be completed in 2010.

"We will also eliminate one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the capital by replacing the Russell roundabout with an overpass. New bridges will carry Kings Avenue over Parkes Way through to the Defence Headquarters at Russell. It will be a full diamond interchange, so there will be on and off ramps to enable traffic to turn in all directions without the delays caused by the roundabout. The interchange will also reduce the risk of accidents.

"Construction will start in 2008 and will be completed in 2009.

"These works will complement the Griffin Legacy strategic planning framework and will help build a national capital worthy of pride by all Australians.

"The Government's funding is conditional on a number of territory roads and associated infrastructure (currently owned and maintained by the ACT Government) being transferred, at no cost, to the Australian Government.

"The Government will provide $3.1 million in funding each year (indexed) to maintain these roads at a standard appropriate for the nation's capital.

"Our negotiations with the ACT Government are well advanced, and I am hopeful that the Chief Minister and I can reach agreement in the near future."

Funding for other roads in the capital region

Mr Lloyd said the Australian Government would spend $19.8 million in 2007-08 on other roads in the Australian Capital Territory, including $480,000 for maintenance on the Barton and Federal highways.

"In addition, the Australian Capital Territory will use additional funding received from the Australian Government in June 2006 to start duplicating Lanyon Drive at Hume," Mr Lloyd said.

"The project will involve a major upgrade of the Monaro Highway-Lanyon Drive intersection, as well as the duplication of Lanyon Drive as far as Sheppard Street. Construction will start in November 2007 and stage 1 will be completed by August 2008.

"The ACT will also receive $17.2 million in untied local road grants for local road improvements in Canberra's suburbs, and $602,000 in 2007-08 under the AusLink Black Spot Programme, which is expected to fix four priority crash locations around Canberra," Mr Lloyd said.

"In the wider capital region, the Australian Government has allocated up to $20 million ($3 million in 2007-08) to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement and carry out land acquisition for the duplication of the Barton Highway between the ACT border and the northern end of the proposed Murrumbateman bypass.

"The ACT will also receive a fair share of the $22.3 billion in land transport funding that the Government announced today under AusLink 2," Mr Lloyd said.

A map showing the new road projects in central Canberra is attached.

Media contact: James Larsson 02 6277 7060/0434 305 130

2007-08 BUDGET:

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