A Smart Freeway, the first of its kind, has officially opened in Perth, using new smart technology at the operations centre to control the flow of traffic, open and close traffic lanes, and adjust speed limits in real time.
The Smart Freeway is part of the Western Australian Government’s $56 million project to deliver quicker and smoother journeys between Roe Highway and the Narrows Bridge during the morning peak hour.
Southern suburbs drivers on the Kwinana Freeway northbound are the first to experience the Smart Freeway travel, designed to deliver a faster, safer and more reliable journey.
Historically, traffic entering the freeway from Canning Highway during peak periods was a major contributor to congestion.
By converting the existing emergency lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge into an additional traffic lane, this bottleneck is expected to ease.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said the smart technology would help ease congestion, improve safety and productivity for people driving into the city south of Perth.
“As well as the long-term traffic benefits, the Federal Government is prioritising Western Australia’s economy and job creation in the west,” Mr Tudge said.
“The construction and commissioning of the Smart Freeway has injected much-needed funds into Western Australia and generated 245 full-time jobs.”
Western Australian Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, said the opening of the Smart Freeway project, along with a number of other completed projects on Kwinana Freeway northbound, will see significant improvements in journey times from Rowley Road to the Narrows Bridge.
“The Smart Freeway Project itself is expected to save time and create a smoother drive for motorists from Roe Highway to the Narrows Bridge,” Ms Saffioti said.
“This is the first time we have used this technology in Western Australia, and I thank everyone in advance for their patience while we get used to this new system.
“These works complement the other major transport infrastructure projects we have underway in our southern suburbs including the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and the North Lake Road Bridge.”
Federal Member for Swan, Steve Irons, said new traffic signals have been installed on five northbound on-ramps from Farrington Road to Cranford Avenue.
“These will help manage stop/start conditions on the freeway, improving congestion, and make merging easier and safer during busy periods,” Mr Irons said.
The project is jointly funded by the Australian and State Governments, with the Commonwealth providing the majority funding.