Ben McHugh, Roads ACT - Upgrading our Nation’s capital – a look at Constitutional Avenue
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Ben McHugh, Roads ACT - Upgrading our Nation’s capital – a look at Constitutional Avenue



Ben McHugh, Project Director – Major Capital Works, Roads ACT delivered the presentation at the 2014 Major Road Projects Conference. ...

Ben McHugh, Project Director – Major Capital Works, Roads ACT delivered the presentation at the 2014 Major Road Projects Conference.

The Major Road Projects Conference brings together government officials with those responsible for the planning, financing and construction of Australia’s critical road infrastructure to discuss future plans. It offers a practical assessment of the strategy necessary to ensure Australia’s current and future major roads projects are successful.

For more information about the event, please visit:



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Ben McHugh, Roads ACT - Upgrading our Nation’s capital – a look at Constitutional Avenue Ben McHugh, Roads ACT - Upgrading our Nation’s capital – a look at Constitutional Avenue Presentation Transcript

  • Agenda  Introduction;  Brief history;  The project;  Stakeholders;  Governance;  Questions.
  • Introduction Roads ACT manages the construction, operation and maintenance of roads and associated infrastructure such as bridges, community paths, traffic signals, street lighting and stormwater.  Roads ACT is a division of the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate (TaMS) within the ACT Government.  Major Capital Works is a unit within Roads ACT  In celebration of the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, the Australian Government gifted $42 million to the ACT Government for the upgrade of Constitution Avenue. SMEC: Final Design. SMEC: Final Design. SMEC: Final Design. Google Images.
  • History of Canberra  Located on the ancient lands of the Indigenous Ngunnawal people, Canberra’s name means ‘meeting place’, derived from the Aboriginal word Kamberra;  Canberra was selected to be the Nations Capital in 1908;  Canberra’s special contrast of nature and urbanisation was planned in 1912 by husband and wife, Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin, who won an international design competition in 1910.  Construction of the city along with Constitution Avenue, commenced in 1913; Canberra: Beyond the Boundaries. View slide
  • The Parliamentary Triangle  The Parliamentary Triangle was a significant feature to the Griffin’s plan and is the ceremonial precinct of Canberra;  The Triangle contains some of Australia’s most important buildings and is formed by Commonwealth, Kings and Constitution Avenues;  Consistent with the Griffin’s garden city design, the Parliamentary Triangle is characterised by streets lined with large deciduous trees and buildings set in expanses of grassed parklands;  Development within the Parliamentary Triangle is controlled by the National Capital Authority – an agency of the Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development. Major Capital Works. View slide
  • The Project The upgrade of Constitution Avenue has been discussed at Federal Government level for at least the last 10 years. In 2012 the ACT Government engaged AECOM to produce the PSP Design. The Constitution Avenue upgrade design supports the ACT Government's commitment to urban renewal. The project will help deliver a vibrant, well considered public open open space and a sustainable and integrated transport network through the city. Specifically, the upgrade will deliver significant infrastructure improvements for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, including: • a dedicated bus lane in each direction & priority at intersections • a separated dedicated cycle path • wide granite paved pedestrian realm • custom designed street furniture • bespoke street & pedestrian lighting The final design plans produced by SMEC/JILA for Constitution Avenue will also allow for the future introduction of light rail to the corridor. AECOM PSP. AECOM PSP.
  • The Project – Landscaping Works As part of the project the character and visual amenity of the avenue will be enhanced through the delivery of a tree replacement program for the existing English Oaks to replace trees in advanced stages of decline. Established trees (up to 9 metres high) will be used to replace the trees that have been removed.  Approximately three hundred 60 year old existing Oak Trees are present in the avenue;  120 if these will be removed to allow for the new carriageway to be constructed;  230 new trees will be planted as part of stage 1 of the replacement program.  A central median will be created and planted with new Pin Oak trees and the verge on both sides of the road will receive significant hard and soft landscape upgrades. SMEC.
  • The Project – Long Term Vision The long term vision for Constitution Avenue is to provide a vibrant, mixed-use, tree-lined grand avenue with enhanced public transport, cycling and pedestrian movement. The southern verge is approximately 22 metres wide and will act as a linear park extending along the avenue. As commercial and residential development is progressed along Constitution Avenue, the public realm spaces will be activated to achieve the visionary design being rolled out along the avenue. The upgrade of Constitution Avenue will ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to support the visionary design as development occurs. Project Delivery Stages & Timing Early works contract award: March 2014; (Select Tender – GC21)  Main construction contract award: Mid 2014; (Expression of Interest – GC21)  Project completion: Late 2015.  Design Consultant: SMEC;  Superintendent: AECOM. AECOM PSP.
  • Constitution Ave Stakeholders
  • Constitution Ave Stakeholders  National Capital Authority;  ACT Government;  Federal Government – Department of Finance;  Department of Defence;  Private.
  • National Capital Authority (NCA) – Federal Government Key Role(s):  Planning authority for project & all future development along the corridor;  Land custodian responsible for maintenance of the avenue;  Responsible for ensuring all future development meets the urban design objectives. Google Images. Google Images.
  • ACT Government Key Role(s):  Project delivery;  Ongoing operational requirements (traffic signals);  Land development sites, including:  Campbell section 5;  Car park section 3.  Tertiary education:  Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT).  Canberra Convention Centre;  Multi storey car parking. AECOM PSP.
  • Federal Government – Department of Finance Key Role(s):  To the land owner of adjacent developments:  Anzac Park east & west;  ASIO building.  Management of existing buildings on behalf of Federal Government Departments. Google Images. Google Images.
  • Department of Defence Key Role(s):  Operator of Russell defence precinct;  Key communications infrastructure along the corridor. Google Images. Google Images.
  • Private Development Key Role(s):  Existing and future office and residential developments along the route;  St Johns Church (Heritage). Google Images. National Library of Australia.
  • National Capital Plan The National Capital Plan (the Plan) is the strategic plan for Canberra and the Territory. It ensures that Canberra and the Territory are planned and developed in accordance with their national significance. The Plan sets out the planning principles and policies for Canberra and the Territory, and detailed conditions of planning, design and development for designated areas because of their particular importance to the special character of the national capital. Planning and approval of development within designated areas is the responsibility of the National Capital Authority (NCA). Source: National Capital and Heritage/The National Capital Plan The Griffin Legacy The Griffin Legacy is the blueprint for the future development of the central national areas of the capital. It sets a big planning picture, identifying those things of value which should endure while allowing the flexibility to respond to emerging needs and opportunities. The Griffin Legacy maintains continuity with the internationally recognised Griffin Plan while protecting the national capital’s cultural and environmental heritage. The Griffin Legacy:  Transforms Griffin’s visionary plan into practical actions for the capital in the 21st century builds on the past investment of Australian Governments, and unlocks the present to secure the future of the capital;  Is the important next step for investment in the national capital;  Is timely as we move towards Canberra’s centenary birthday in 2013;  Demonstrates commitment and leadership in nation building. Source: National Capital and Heritage/The Griffin Legacy Planning Documents/Guidelines
  • Project Structure
  • Governance Structure
  • Project Governance – Benefits If a strong governance structure is implemented early in a project’s life a range of benefits can be realised:  Coordination across multiple stakeholders;  Project ownership (buy in) from stakeholders;  Positive Communication (direct & immediate);  Timely Decision making;  Political engagement;  Authority Approvals;  Continuous progress.
  • Project Governance – Constraints If poor governance arrangements are implemented to advise project delivery, a range of issues will be realised:  Appropriate or consistent representation from key stakeholders;  A lack of engagement;  Conflicting objectives will go unresolved;  A lack of cooperation at an executive level;  Outcomes will be compromised;  Approvals will be more difficult;  Delivery will be challenging.
  • Constitution Avenue PSP Fly Thru Designed by AECOM.
  • Progress To Date  PSP Complete 2012  FSP complete 2013  Construction tenders called December 2013 Key achievements  Light rail: coordination for future implementation;  Tree replacement program support;  Coordination with adjacent developments under design or construction; Urban design objectives in accordance with urban design hierarchy;  Traffic operation levels maintained;  Service relocations early works contract (risk management process);  Community consultation, buy in and support.
  • Conclusion For a complex project with a number of high profile stakeholders, strong project governance structures are critical to ensure the best opportunities for project succuss. Questions