Perth truckies on track for quicker peak run along Kwinana
THE construction and installation of Perth's first Smart Freeway, tipped to save truckies up to 10 minutes when using the Kwinana Freeway in the morning peak rush, is a step closer.
Construction started in January 2019 and is now more than 25 per cent complete with workers now 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,” he said.
"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.”
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,” she said.
"These upgraded roads will complement the rail expansion we are undertaking through METRONET in helping to unshackle Perth from the costly burden of congestion.”
Western Roads Federation CEO Cam Dumesny told Big Rigs the Smart Freeway technology is the best way to get the most out of the city's main arterial routes.
"Perth is basically a long narrow coastal city, and the North-South freeway [Kwinana and Mitchell] are one massive car park at peak hours,” he said.
"So getting the freeways moving better helps our operators.”
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, jointly funded by the federal ($37.6m) and state ($9.4m) governments, 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 about 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)