Project status: In progress

How you had YourSay

Community consultation for the Odgers and Verity Lanes upgrade has now closed. Thank you for providing your feedback to this important project. We’ve revised the designs for the laneways upgrade in response to more than 60 items of feedback.

You can read a summary of what we heard and how we’ve responded in the Listening Report, and view the updated designs below. Construction of the laneways upgrade will commence in mid-2022, and we’ll be in touch with local traders and property owners well before it begins so we can minimise inconvenience.

We are looking at

The historic Sydney and Melbourne Buildings have a special place in the hearts of Canberrans. Built in the early stages of Canberra’s formation, the buildings sit right in the heart of the city centre on either side of the main approach road into the national capital. These buildings are extremely important to Canberra’s history and people. In recognition of this, the ACT Government has tasked the City Renewal Authority (the Authority) to act as the key liaison between government and owners of the iconic Sydney and Melbourne Buildings to encourage and support revitalisation of these significant heritage sites.

Verity and Odgers Lanes provide important functional requirements for businesses in the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings including waste storage and disposal, deliveries, parking and alfresco dining.

Recognising the important role these lanes play to the functionality of the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings and their potential for further activation, the Authority, together with Transport Canberra and City Services, will be upgrading both lanes as part of the broader revitalisation of the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings precincts.

The laneway improvements are designed to:

  • help create attractive small-scale spaces people can enjoy when visiting the city centre
  • improve safety, connectivity and accessibility by bringing the laneway infrastructure up to modern standards
  • reinforce the buildings’ role as a distinctive gateway to the city.

Laneway upgrade planning is currently underway and is looking at stormwater, drainage infrastructure and laneway surfacing refurbishment.

Work to the laneways will involve the following activities:

  • Upgrading the sewer and drainage infrastructure.
  • Removing trip hazards and improving accessibility with a new asphalt pavement surface to replace the existing ageing asphalt.
  • Reconfiguration of loading zones.
  • Installation of expanded and elevated islands to protect the plane trees and, for Odgers Lane, accommodate outdoor dining spaces.
  • Upgrades to street lighting and installation of decorative lighting in the trees and entry points.
  • Plantings along the main entrances to each laneway.
  • Proposed introduction of reduced vehicle access to Verity Lane between 11:30am and 2:30pm Monday to Friday, and both lanes during special events and other peak/festive periods to encourage pedestrian movement in the laneways.

Essential works by ICON Water to re-line the sewer in Odgers Lane began in January 2022 and concluded in mid-February 2022. Work to ageing stormwater infrastructure in both lanes - which will enable and support upgrades to the laneway surfaces - will commence in mid-2022. These works will significantly help to improve the appearance and longevity of the laneways. All construction works in the laneways are anticipated to be finished by late 2022.

The essential stormwater works will be done as part of the ACT Government’s 2021-22 Budget infrastructure package and will directly support the long-term preservation of the buildings.

Odgers Lane upgrades

Verity Lane upgrades

We used your views to

We engaged community, business and property owners on these issues:

  • Consulting you to refine the final design of both laneways.
  • Involving you in determining the times of vehicle access.
  • Involving you in determining the lighting periods.
  • Consulting you to determine our construction methodology and timings.