THE long-awaited Ellerton Drive extension (EDE) is now effectively paid for after the State and Federal governments came to the party this week with $50 million for the new road.
State member John Barilaro and Federal MP Peter Hendy each pledged $25 million today on behalf of their governments to turn the road into a reality.
Mr Barilaro said the Ellerton Drive bypass would literally "pave the way" for a generation of economic growth.
"This bypass will put Queanbeyan in the economic fast lane," Mr Barilaro said.
"This is a once in lifetime investment that's needed to accommodate our city's future growth and will greatly benefit many generations of the regions residents."
Mr Hendy said Queanbeyan Council and Mayor Tim Overall had made a "strong case" for the road as key to managing the town's future growth.
"I'm really proud we've been able to get this," Mr Hendy said. "My memory is that [talk of] this road started in the 1970s, and we're finally going to get it done.
"The Queanbeyan Council and Tim Overall made a very strong case to me and John Barilaro about this road being their principle item for economic development in the Queanbeyan district.
"We were sold on that proposition. We each then put it to our respective leadership groups and have had it agreed to. So it's a great win for Eden-Monaro, and it's a great win for the state electorate of Monaro," he said.
The project involves the construction of a new 4.6-kilometre long, two-lane single carriageway with climbing lanes and earthworks, linking the current end of Ellerton Drive (opposite Yass Road) to the new Edwin Land Parkway intersection at Old Cooma Road, including a new bridge over the Queanbeyan River.
It would provide a bypass option of the Queanbeyan CBD for some road users, and connect Jerrabomberra, Googong and Karabar directly to East Queanbeyan. It would also provide an alternative route around Queanbeyan in the event of traffic disruptions or flooding along Monaro Street.
Queanbeyan Council engineering staff have conducted environmental and route surveys towards the road over recent years, and road design consultant OPUS International will have a preliminary design of the road before Council and the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) office in July or August this year.
Once Council and RMS staff approve the design, it along with the Species Impact Statement (SIS) and Review of Environmental Factors (REF) will be submitted for assessment under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, before going out on public exhibition in September.
A Council engineering spokesperson told The Queanbeyan Age that a final design for the road would be ready by March next year. Predictions of the final cost of the EDE range between $44 and $55 million.