THE first major piece of road infrastructure aimed at handling rapid population growth in the Queanbeyan region will open on Monday when the new Edwin Land Parkway extension is launched.
With traffic modelling predicting major increases along local thoroughfares in the next decade as Googong -and possibly Tralee- swell the local population, the new Edwin Land Parkway extension is designed to provide easier access to the Queanbeyan CBD, particularly for Jerrabomberra residents.
Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall will cut the ribbon to open the new 2.3-kilometre, $12 million extension to traffic at 11am on Monday, and the road will link the eastern end of Jerrabomberra to Old Cooma Road, just south of Karabar.
"This is a most significant piece of road infrastructure," Cr Overall said.
"It's been a long time coming and it provides an important link between the Jerrabomberra and South Queanbeyan communities. It also provides a second exit route out of Jerrabomberra in the event of any emergency situation," he said.
The road extension is single carriageway and features street lighting and an off-road cycle and pedestrian path along its entire length. It was funded by a $6 million Federal Government grant with the remainder drawn from Section 94 contributions, loans and reserves.
The extension would also open up access to retailers in Jerrabomberra, Cr Overall said.
"I think the significance of this road link to Old Cooma Road is yet to be fully appreciated by the community, which is natural at this [early] stage, but I think the convenience of it will be significant.
"We're now in close proximity to Jerrabomberra as a second commercial centre, and Jerrabomberra now has the Queanbeyan CBD and facilities like The Q just around the corner."
However Jerrabomberra residents are concerned the road may become a primary route for Googong residents to access Canberra, clogging up local roads with major traffic delays.
Residents' Association president Michael Ziebell said there were pros and cons to the extension.
"It's good to have a second route out of Jerra and it provides easier access to Queanbeyan. But I guess the bad side of things will be if it was to become a bypass or a way for Googong people to get out," Mr Ziebell said.
"Suddenly it might turn into a major thoroughfare, which is what we don't want. We'd like it to be an access route rather than a main thoroughfare," he said.
The next stage of road infrastructure catering to increased local traffic will be the Ellerton Drive Extension, set to continue the Edwin Land Parkway route from the other side of Old Cooma Road, joining up with Ellerton Drive, opposite Yass Road in Queanbeyan.
Environmental planning and survey work has commenced on the Ellerton Drive extension, which is expected to open prior to 2018.