QUEANBEYAN Business Council president Jamie Cregan warns the city will face “gridlock” by 2018 if Federal funding is not secured to complete the long-planned Ellerton Drive Extension.
At its monthly meeting last week, QBC unanimously voted to endorse Queanbeyan City Council’s decision to make securing funding for the completion of Ellerton Drive its number one priority leading into this year’s Federal election.
The extension, which would join Old Cooma Road to Ellerton Drive opposite Yass Road in Queanbeyan, is designed to serve as a bypass to divert heavy traffic away from the Queanbeyan CBD and Jerrabomberra.
Completion of the road has been part of Queanbeyan City Council’s plans for more than four decades but has taken on increased urgency in recent years following approval of the Googong development in 2011.
“Ellerton Drive once complete will take a lot of passing traffic out of the main street of Queanbeyan and out of Jerrabomberra,” QBC president and Queanbeyan City Councillor Jamie Cregan said.
“As more and more houses go up at Googong, it will become more vital than ever because traffic through Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra is only going to increase over the next few years.”
Mr Cregan said Queanbeyan City Council’s Googong and Tralee Traffic Study had found Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra would face “gridlock” if the Ellerton Drive Extension was not completed by 2018.
Mr Gregan also said that although Council would be seeking funding of more than $40million from the Federal Government for the project, much of that money would eventually be recouped from Googong’s developers.
“70 per cent of the project will be funded by Googong developers CIC Australia and Mirvac but we won’t receive that money until land is sold out at Googong,” Mr Gregan said. “Although it’s quite a large grant initially, a large portion of that money will be paid back as it becomes available from the Googong developers.”
The NSW State Government has already provided funding to undertake environmental impact and design studies for the extension with Mr Cregan saying the project would be “shovel ready” in the very near future.
Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall has previously described the Ellerton Drive Extension as the “single most important piece of infrastructure for Queanbeyan for over 30 years.”
“The construction of this extension will provide Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra and future Googong residents and other commuters with an alternate route around the CBD and will reduce heavy truck movements through our town centre,” Cr Overall said in 2011.