Surprisingly, just before the election, Roads ACT is suddenly commencing Stage 2 of the duplication of the Cotter Road which is the bit that will pass Equestrian Park at Curtin. It now appears that works will start in October this year. ACTEA has been in consultation with the government and engineers about the duplication since 2011 and is happy that all concerns about the long term impact on the Park have been taken into account.
On Thursday 29 July Equestrian Park Management Group representatives, along with some from Illoura and Curtin Horse Paddocks, met with Roads ACT project managers to discuss the process and details for ensuring that the Park can continue to operate safely for the duration of the roadworks which could be up to 15 months.
Issues discussed included:
- Entrance and Exit of Park for Events
- Daily Entrance and Exit at Yarralumla Horse Paddocks
- Proximity of Construction to Competition Arenas in Equestrian Park
- Impact on Security of the Cotter Plots
- Weekday and Ridden Access to Equestrian Park During Construction
- Construction Timeline
The good news is that RoadsACT are proposing to install temporary road crossing lights to enable access to the Park for riders who would normally use the Yarralumla Creek underpass.
Contractors will not be working on Saturday afternoons and Sundays and when there are competitions on Saturday they will not be working then either.
The site office and compound will be in the government woodlot on the eastern side of Yarralumla Creek so will not impede equestrian traffic between Curtin and Illoura Paddocks on the southern verge of the Cotter Road.
Included among the many lengthy Tender specifications made available to competitors for the construction contract is the following statement:
Horse riders use the Equestrian Park most days of the year and for locals it is the only direct route to riding trails in the Arboretum. Events occur almost every weekend throughout the year. Vehicles using the Park commonly include cars and floats 8m in length; rigid trucks around 9m and semitrailers at 16.5m. These vehicles have very slow acceleration and deceleration rates to protect their horse passengers standing in the back. The Contractor must consider there are a minimum of two major events each year which draw in the order of 300 competitors to the park, plus spectators, volunteers etc. on a weekends (usually in March and October). Horse riders also use the southern verge for access between the horse paddocks at Curtin and Illoura.
The Contractor’s must consider when moving and operating construction machinery that by their nature horses get a fright from load noises, unexpected movement, bright colours and unnatural objects.
[ACTEA] will be invited to attend the Startup Workshop (GC21) as a community interest group and will likely wish to maintain regular meetings with the Contractor and PAP for guidance. The Contractor is required to establish contact and coordinate with the Canberra Equestrian Association…to provide continuous access…for their patrons and events and horses and riders during the duration of the construction period. A draft temporary management plan is included as part of the tender including the provision for a crossing arrangement for horses and riders. Tenderers are to make adequate allowance to install, maintain, and adjust the location of said crossing following consultation with the operators of these centres for the full duration of the Contract.
The Contractor must provide and operate temporary pedestrian and equestrian signals according to the Temporary Crossing arrangement shown on DWG 3002329-DTC-0700 for the duration of the equestrian path closure beneath the Yarralumla Creek Bridge. The Equestrian Park (and the Cotter Plots, Yarralumla) is managed by the ACT Equestrian Association (ACTEA) which has its own page on the ACTEA website with park maps and park booking calendar which the Contractor must keep himself informed. http://www.actea.asn.au/equestrian-park-management-group
ACTEA will keep interested parties informed of progress via this website.