Perth’s Smart Freeway reaches milestone

Perth’s first Smart Freeway will soon be a reality, with the project more than 25 per cent complete.

Construction started in January 2019 and workers are now currently installing drainage, relocating communication infrastructure and preparing for the installation of the large overhead electronic signs that will manage lanes.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said smart freeway technology has been a success in Melbourne and Sydney, bringing down travel times.

“Smart freeways are used successfully around the world to bust congestion, improve safety and get the most out of existing infrastructure.

“One of the biggest challenges for road authorities is maximising network efficiency so they are increasingly turning to technology-based solutions to manage traffic growth and improve travel times,” Mr Tudge said.

WA Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, said it was a busy time for Perth in terms of roadworks, with the majority of the projects announced as part of the original ‘boosting jobs, busting congestion’ jointly-funded infrastructure program now under construction or very close to starting.

“Our freeways have been under pressure for many years, and this program of works across the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways will save a lot of time for busy families and businesses.

“These upgraded roads will complement the rail expansion we are undertaking through METRONET in helping to unshackle Perth from the costly burden of congestion,” Ms Saffioti said.

Meanwhile, manufacturing of the overhead signs, or gantries, is continuing off-site.

Smart Freeway is part of the Federal and State Governments’ $2.3 billion ‘boosting jobs, busting congestion’ package of 18 Western Australian road and rail projects announced in May 2017.

The $47 million Smart Freeway project will create an additional traffic lane between Canning Highway and the Narrows Bridge by utilising the emergency stopping lane as a full-time running lane, known as All Lane Running (ALR).

Smart Freeways involve multiple features, including increased driver information, variable speed limits and coordinated ramp signals.

The project will generate approximately 245 jobs and is due for completion by early-2020.

It is one of several joint Federal-State projects to transform Perth’s freeways, including:

  • $49 million Kwinana Freeway—northbound Widening from Russell Road to Roe Highway (complete late 2019)
  • $35 million Kwinana Freeway—new southbound on-ramp at Manning Road (starts late 2019, complete late 2020)
  • $40 million Mitchell Freeway—southbound widening from Cedric Street to Vincent Street (complete late 2019)

This project is being jointly funded by the Australian Government ($37.6 million) and WA Government ($9.4 million).

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