Transport projects in the Molonglo Valley

While the John Gorton Drive Bridge is well known by now, another river crossing has barely been mentioned. Minister Steel’s presentation last night at the Molonglo Valley Community Forum shed a little light on the subject.

Bridge crossings

The Molonglo River Reserve Management Plan discourages the construction of crossings across the reserve. Only a few are planned.

Four (4) low level river crossing and three (3) high level bridges are expected. That is all. The low level crossing include: Southwells Crossing, Clos Crossing and Coppins Crossing. The high level bridge crossing include: Butters Bridge, John Gorton Drive bridge (2025), “east-west arterial road” bridge (2030s) and Tuggeranong Parkway bridge.

The east-west arterial road bridge will be built between John Gorton Drive bridge and the existing Tuggeranong Parkway bridge. It provides a crossing between the Molonglo Valley Stage 1 and 2 south of the river and Molonglo Stage 3 to the north. Molonglo Stage 3 has not even started, and it is easy to forget three suburbs will be built there. The suburb on the south side of the east-west arterial road bridge will be Molonglo with the new group centre.

TCCS presentation 22 April 2021 east-west arterial road
TCCS presentation 22 April 2021 east-west arterial road

The details of Molonglo Stage 3 are sketchy, but some detail is provided by the Molonglo 3 Stage 2 Proof of Concept Report. This report from 2019 is already a little dated, but we could find nothing more recent.

TCCS presentation 22 April 2021 upcoming transport investments
TCCS presentation 22 April 2021 upcoming transport investments

The Molonglo Valley Community Forum presentation from Minister Steel can be downloaded below.


  1. You may have noticed that a temporary fence and a Road Closed sign have recently appeared at Southwells Crossing. I take that as an indication that they are planning on fixing it, after the recent flood damage.


    1. I would NOT assume this is an announcement that repairs are intended for Southwells Crossing. Rather, it is the ACT Government warning that the crossing is a hazard. I would see it as a duty of care response. Write the ACT Environment and see what they have to say.


  2. That level crossing is just one of two new crossings that are coming. So eventually there will be 6 if you include the one upstream of the Parkway.


    1. The existing level crossings will be “retained”. This means they are not going to be ripped out. With everything that ACT Environment, there is always heritage value to consider: “the history of the area.” This can be seen in Hawker Offset Area where they even kept the rusty fence and building a stile over the top. Presumable the fence is a reference to the rule past. So too, can we expect that money will not be wasted ripping out a level crossing when it will get washed away eventually by the river in time. Passive “retention” does not mean active “maintenance”. ACT Environment is so poorly funded that it will unlikely fix level crossings that are damaged by floods. The good news is some crossing are valued by Icon Water (Clos Crossing and Butters Bridge). They will most definitely be kept in good order.


  3. Low level crossings. In your text you say that there are 4, then list just 3. You do not mention the extra low crossing upstream on the Tuggeranong parkway. This is slightly outside the area we normally think of as the Molonglo Valley, but is within the river reserve. It is used by horse rders and mountain bike riders quite a lot.
    At the previous Molonglo Valley Form meeting, Simon Tennent talked about his plan for an iconic cycling loop in the Molonglo. This plan is not finalised, but it does involve two more low level crossings for pedestrians and cyclists. One of this will be downstream of Namarag, and the other will be at the Coombs Peninsula.



    1. The fourth low level crossing is Denman North to Naramag at the junction of Deep Creek (Whitlam) and the Molonglo River. It does not exist yet but is coming.


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