Local Gungahlin MLA Meegan Fitzharris today turned the first sod for the Gungahlin Drive upgrade, kicking off a series of road upgrade projects across Gungahlin.

“I’m pleased to announce that major construction is now underway on this vital road infrastructure project, which will deliver an additional southbound lane on Gungahlin Drive from north of Sandford Street through to the Barton Highway,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“The $5.2 million upgrade will also include minor works at the Well Station Drive/Gungahlin Drive intersection, with traffic lights upgraded to signalise the left turn into Gungahlin Drive and the turning lane duplicated to provide two left turn lanes.

“Gungahlin Drive is currently experiencing considerable congestion, particularly during peak periods as traffic accessing the Mitchell commercial and industrial precinct grows. The improvements to this stretch of road will mean less frustration for Gungahlin commuters once the region’s suite of roadworks is complete.

“I would like to thank motorists for their patience during works on Gungahlin Drive which are scheduled for completion in mid‑2016.”

Ms Fitzharris said while the upgrades will ultimately bring relief to motorists, there may be some delays during the construction phase.

“Initial works on Gungahlin Drive will have little impact on traffic flow with a realigned shared path for pedestrians and cyclists to be constructed first. The current shared path will then be removed to allow for the widening of the road. Detours for pedestrians and cyclists will be clearly signed.

“Lane closures will be required during construction works however these are planned for outside the usual morning peak period. Reduced speed limits will be in operation to ensure safety for workers, and for the public travelling through the work site.”

The next two road upgrades set to commence in Gungahlin are the Barton Highway/Gundaroo Drive/William Slim Drive roundabout signalisation and the Horse Park Drive/Anthony Rolfe Avenue intersection upgrade.

“The Barton Highway/Gundaroo Drive/William Slim Drive roundabout will be upgraded to incorporate additional lanes and traffic lights on all four of its approaches to balance traffic flow, reduce delays and make the roundabout safer. Construction is expected to commence in October 2015.

“Construction will also commence shortly on the Horse Park Drive/Anthony Rolfe Avenue intersection to improve safety and traffic flow and provide better access to nearby suburbs. This will be followed by the duplication of Horse Park Drive between Anthony Rolfe Avenue and Well Station Drive,” said Ms Fitzharris.

This year’s budget will see more than $90 million invested in new roads across Canberra.