A $86 million contract has been awarded for the extension of Ellerton Drive in Queanbeyan, New South Wales.

WBHO Infrastructure is expected to soon start work on the project which will extend Ellerton Drive to connect Queanbeyan East to Old Cooma Road.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said, “With the population of Queanbeyan and the surrounding region expected to reach 56,000 by 2031, this alternate route is crucial to ease congestion, and keep people and freight moving along the city’s north-south corridor.

“Emergency vehicles will also have better access, which will reduce the number of heavy vehicles travelling through the central business district of the town making the road safer for pedestrians.”

Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, said the Ellerton Drive extension was expected to cut travel times for motorists by over a third compared to the existing route via the central business district, while also improving safety.

“These works will create an extra bridge crossing, which means drivers will be able to avoid up to 19 intersections and three sets of traffic lights,” Mr Barilaro said.

The 4.6km project will connect Queanbeyan East with Karabar at the Edwin Land Parkway intersection with Old Cooma Road. It will also involve a 700m upgrade of the existing Ellerton Drive.

The Australian and New South Wales Governments have each committed $25 million toward the project, while Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council has committed $36 million.

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