Heysen Street Link history

Heysen Street, Weston,Weston Creek

The Heysen Street Link was promised at the 2016 ACT Election, came up again at the 2019 Federal election, but it was not until 2020 that the construction of the Heysen Street Link was announced. In the end, it took about 5 years to build, with funding from Fast Track and the expanded scope for the Woden Renewal. The path width varies along its length and a bit of the path is still missing passes the Lyon shops.

Contents

  1. Heysen Street Link timeline
  2. Genesis
  3. Heysen Street Link and the Woden Renewal
  4. Heysen Street Link extension
  5. Heysen Street Stage 3
Heysen Street missing link to Woden Town Centre
Heysen Street missing link to Woden Town Centre. Map: CBR Cycle Routes Current principal and main off road routes Version 9 TCCS

Heysen Street Link timeline

  • 2016 ACT Election promise

  • 2019 Federal Election promise

  • 13 May 2020 Press announcement of the construction

  • 8 July 2020 ACT Government promises to extend the Link along Launceston Street

  • 22 July 2021 stage 1 and 2 of the project have been completed. The remaining stage along Devonport Street has not begun.

  • 8 October 2021 The Devonport Street is almost complete.

Genesis

Heysen Street is a “country standard” road that lies on the northern edge of the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve and passes under the Tuggeranong Parkway. The road is so narrow that passing cars were required to cross the centre line to provide the required clearance to pass cyclists. Unfortunately, the hill is also a blind spot. From the bottom of the hill, the driver cannot see whether a car is approaching from the other direction. Riding up hill is slow and cyclists got nervous – for a very good reason. Motorists are impatient.

Great news. It always feels dodgy riding Heysen Street through there due to the lack of shoulder and the hill, which reduces sight lines. Now if they can just do something about the 2 Heysen Street magpies!

Dane Roberts 9:30 pm 13 May 20, comments to the announcement in The RiotACT.

Heysen Street is one of the “missing links“. Missing links are strategically important gaps in a cycling network. A missing link is often not very long but lies between two areas which could be frequently used by cyclists, and may be a high priority because of safety concerns. Cyclists are normally fussy about finding the shortest route, but should the route be unsafe, cyclists will avoid it.

Fantastic that this missing link will be completed finally. I have had many frights going over there and have been concerned about the safety of the many school age children walking over there.

Bill Gemmell 7:51 pm 14 May 20, comments to the annoucement in The RiotACT.
Heyson Street, Photo ACT Government
Heyson Street and Oakey Hill Nature Reserve to the right, Photo ACT Government

Heysen Street was long known to be an issue and a shortcut between Woden and Weston. Heysen Street was an example of a project that was important enough to have its own page on the ACT Government website. These pages do not get updated much, contrary to good practice. Design and environmental approvals can take time, and the project might still be stalled by a lack of funding. Interdependencies in the planning may hold a project up for years. Until everything is worked through, nothing will be done. The ACT Government seems often concerned that the work might have to be done twice.

Heysen Street Link, ACT Government
Heysen Street Link Stage 1. Later, further stages were proposed and built. ACT Government.

Heysen Street should have been straight forward. The reserve was a minor one and degraded. The initial suggestion for a bike lane was rejected by the ACT Government. The ACT Government Fast-track stimulus package pushed the project over the line. Nevertheless, it was not until 13 May 2020 that it was finally announced.

The “Weston-Lyons bike link” (Heysen Street) was announced in The RiotACT (13 May 2020).

Heysen Street Link and the Woden Renewal

The bicycle path along Heysen Street was keenly awaited. The first stage of the project ends ended at Devonport Street. As of the 8 October 2021, this section was almost completed. It left a gap to Woden along Devonport Street. As of July 2020, a further segment was promised. Heysen Street Link became part of the greater Woden Renewal.

“We’re improving connectivity for walking and cycling between Weston Creek and Woden with a new path through the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve being investigated.”

ACT Government

The ACT Government provided a good interactive map showing the plans for Woden Town Centre comprising three components: the Heysen Street Link (finished), the Woden Town Centre cycleway (finished) and Athllon Drive Corridor upgrade (not started).

Heysen St cycleway (green) - walking and cycling between Weston Creek and Woden with a new path through the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve being investigated. Source: ACT Government
Heysen St cycleway (green) – walking and cycling between Weston Creek and Woden with a new path through the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve being investigated. Source: ACT Government
Woden Protected Cycleway (green) - constructing a 1.1 kilometre dedicated on-road cycleway in the Woden Town Centre. Source: ACT Government
Woden Protected Cycleway (green) – constructing a 1.1 kilometre dedicated on-road cycleway in the Woden Town Centre. Source: ACT Government
Athllon Drive Corridor upgrade but cycling is not mentioned - Athllon Drive corridor through several upgrades which include duplicating sections. Source: ACT Government
Athllon Drive Corridor upgrade but cycling is not mentioned – Athllon Drive corridor through several upgrades which include duplicating sections. Source: ACT Government

Heysen Street Link extension

The ACT Government announced as part of Fast Track announcement the extension of the Heysen Street Link. The bicycle path along Heysen Street was Stage 1 of the project, ending at Devonport Street. The Stage 2 announcement on the 8 July 2020 was for a grade separated path along Launceston Street. This left just a gap along Devonport Street that became Stage 3.

The second stage of the Heysen Street Link in Lyons – a new 2.5m wide off-road asphalt shared path along Launceston Street from Burnie Street to the underpass near the Lyons shops.

ACT Government, Fast Track announcement, 8 July 2020
 	* The second stage of the Heysen Street Link in Lyons - a new 2.5m wide off-road asphalt shared path along Launceston Street from Burnie Street to the underpass near the Lyons shops.
The second stage of the Heysen Street Link in Lyons – a new 2.5m wide off-road asphalt shared path along Launceston Street from Burnie Street to the underpass near the Lyons shops.

Heysen Street Stage 3

Finally, the construction of a grade separate path along Devonport Street was funded that became Stage 3. This was a pleasing development, as often a project’s scope shrinks after the election announcement. Heysen Street Link got bigger instead.

Constructed in 3 stages

The funding came from different pots, but produced a cycle path from Weston to Woden Town Centre.

Heysen Street Link, ACT Government, 12/10/2020

Stage One – completed

  • Type: off-road shared path
  • Where: from the intersection of Devonport Street and Derwent Street, through the Oakey Hill Nature Reserve, along Heysen Street, ending at its intersection with Hilder Street.
  • Construction: August 2020 to late 2020
  • Funding: ACT Government $1.2 million
Heysen Street, Weston,Weston Creek
Heysen Street, Weston,Weston Creek

Stage Two – completed

  • Type: off-road shared path
  • Where: from the underpass near the Lyons shops, along Launceston Street to Burnie Street.
  • Construction: late 2020 to early 2021
  • Funding: ACT Government’s Fast Track Program.
Launceston Street, Lyons. Woden Valley
Bike path along Launceston Street, Lyons. Woden Valley

Stage Three – status 8 October 2021 near completion

Heysen Street Link, ACT Government, 12/10/2020

Heysen Street grand opening

Photos of the route and a video from the ACT Government.

Heysen Street Link video, ACT Government

Heysen Street

Launceston Street

The path narrow, as one would have expected the 3 m width to be consistent along the whole length.

Launceston Street, Lyons. Woden Valley
Bike path along Launceston Street, Lyons. Woden Valley
Launceston Street, Lyons. Woden Valley
Bike path along Launceston Street, Lyons. Woden Valley
Launceston Street, Lyons. Woden Valley
Bike path along Launceston Street, Lyons. Woden Valley

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