Awarding of tender for Perth’s first ‘smart freeway’ expected soon, construction to start in late 2018

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE contract to build the Perth’s first “smart freeway” should be awarded in the coming months, but a date for the start of construction remains “late 2018”.

The $47 million development will see the Kwinana Freeway’s northbound emergency slip between Canning Highway and the Narrows Bridge become a full-time traffic lane.

Technology will allow authorities to close and reopen traffic lanes, adjust speed limits and provide emergency access during incidents, similar to the system used in the Northbridge Tunnel.

The three shortlisted contractors – Intelligent Transport Alliance, Perth Smart Alliance and SmartWays Alliance – had until March to submit proposals.

Main Roads WA (MRWA) expected the contract to be awarded earlier this year but a spokeswoman said it was now due “mid-2018”.

Despite the project featuring in a recent media statement from Transport Minister Rita Saffioti, a start date on work is still unclear.

MRWA’s website has an open-ended “late 2018” commencement.

Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said in December the alterations should save motorists travelling from Roe Highway to the city up to 10 minutes.

The development, due to be in operation in 2020, is one of a number planned by the State Government including the widening of the Mitchell Freeway southbound between Cedric Street and Vincent Street, the widening of Kwinana Freeway northbound between Russell Road and Roe Highway and the Kwinana Freeway southbound on-ramp from Manning Road.

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