Perth’s first ‘smart freeway’ to open in early 2020

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE city’s first ‘smart freeway’ is expected to open in early 2020, with three alliances invited to submit proposals for the $47 million contract.

Technology will be used to convert the Kwinana Freeway northbound’s emergency slip between Canning Highway and the Narrows Bridge into a full-time traffic lane.

A smart system will allow road authorities to easily open and close traffic lanes and adjust speed limits as needed, with Main Roads considering it the best solution because the railway and Swan River prevent traditional widening.

Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said the alterations were expected to deliver savings of up to 10 minutes for freeway motorists travelling from Roe Highway to the city.

Federal Swan MP Swan Steve Irons said the extra lane would be complemented with ramp signals at Farrington Road, South Street, Leach Highway and Cranford Avenue.

“These will balance the flow of traffic onto the freeway and ease stop-start conditions,” he said.

Emergency stopping bays will be provided for vehicles to use in case of breakdown or incident.

CCTV coverage will be linked to Main Roads’ central Traffic Operations Centre.Shortlisted contractors – Intelligent Transport Alliance , Perth Smart Alliance and SmartWays Alliance – have until March to submit proposals, with construction expected to start in late in 2018.

It should be operating by early 2020.

State Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the technology, a state first, had proven successful around the world for managing congestion, improving safety and getting the most out of existing infrastructure.

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