Near-miss reveals bridge danger
September 20, 2012
A cyclist falling over a railing and on to the road of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge has highlighted the need for extra safety on the bridge.
A terrifying near-miss in which a cyclist fell over a railing and on to the road of the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge has highlighted the need for extra safety on the bridge.
National Capital Authority chief executive Gary Rake has confirmed the railing on the western footpath of Commonwealth Avenue Bridge needs to be raised at a cost of $3 million but the money won't be available within its rolling capital work budget until 2015-16.
If the situation is judged to be too dangerous in the meantime, the western footpath of the bridge could be changed to a demount zone – only to be used by pedestrians and people walking their bikes. The eastern footpath of the bridge has a higher railing.
"We would recommend that cyclists concerned about potential safety risks use the eastern side," Mr Rake said.
"We'll be assessing the safety of the western side and if it turns out that it's not appropriate for cyclists to continue ride across it, we'd consider making it a dismount zone, so an area only available to pedestrians and people walking their bicycles until we can upgrade it."
Mr Rake said the authority had about $10 million a year for capital works but the next few years would be consumed by the last of the repair work to Scrivener Dam and construction of the $10 million Bowen Drive crossing.
"We always have to prioritise the work that we do," he said.
He confirmed two cyclists collided on the western footpath of the bridge about six weeks ago. One fell over the railing on to the road of the bridge, but as the peak hour traffic was banked up, avoided being run over.
It's only unsafe if you don't ride to the conditions or dont look where you're going. The bridge has been the same since forever and myself and dozens of other cyclists manage to ride over it on a daily basis without incident but one cyclist crashes there and all of a sudden it's "dangerous".