Upgrades for Perth freeways

08/08/2017 - 11:36

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Travel time estimates on Perth’s freeways will be displayed on electronic signs in real-time from today, as the state government puts the wheels in motion for about $140 million of freeway upgrades.

Upgrades for Perth freeways
The real-time information will be displayed on electronic signs along the freeway during peak hours on weekdays. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Travel time estimates on Perth’s freeways will be displayed on electronic signs in real-time from today, as the state government puts the wheels in motion for about $140 million of freeway upgrades.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announced this morning that the government was now seeking expressions of interest for three freeway upgrade projects.

The upgrades include a widening of Kwinana Freeway northbound from Russell Road to Roe Highway at a cost of $49 million, implementation of a smart freeway from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge for $47 million, and a widening of the Mitchell Freeway southbound from Cedric Street to Vincent Street, valued at $40 million.

In the case of the smart freeway upgrade, an additional lane will be created from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge, complemented with ramp signals at Farrangton Road, South Street, Leach Highway and Cranford Avenue to balance the flow of traffic onto the freeway.

“The technology components of this project will work together to deliver journey time improvements for road users on the Kwinana Freeway as far south as Roe Highway,” Ms Saffioti said.

“The Smart Freeways project will be the first of its kind in Western Australia and will use technology that has proven successful around the world in managing congestion, improving safety and getting the most out of existing infrastructure.”

Work on that upgrade is expected to start in late 2018 and be completed by early 2020, while work on the Russell Road to Roe Highway upgrade, which involves the addition of a new lane, will begin mid-next year and be completed around mid-2019.

Construction of the Mitchell Freeway component, which also involves creation of a new lane, is expected to begin in mid-2018 and be completed by the end of 2019.

“These important freeway projects form part of a $2.3 billion investment in road and rail infrastructure by the state and Commonwealth governments and will create more than 850 jobs for Western Australians,” Ms Saffioti said.

She said travel times would be automatically displayed on nine selected freeway signs in Perth during both morning and afternoon peak periods on weekdays.

The time estimates are calculated using existing in-road vehicle detection sensors and a new smart technology system, which uses an algorithm that considers distances and current average travel speeds to estimate travel times every few minutes.

The updated travel times are then published on the overhead electronic freeway signs in real-time.

"Displaying travel times will reduce driver frustration by providing motorists with a quick understanding of the current road conditions ahead and giving them an estimated time of arrival to key freeway exits,” Ms Saffioti said.

"They are also able to make more informed en route travel choices by being able to change their journey based on the displayed travel times that can be used as a guide.

"We will continue to look at ways to introduce technology to improve congestion and journey times."

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