Traffic congestion relief is on the horizon for city commuters from Rockingham and Kwinana, with construction and installation of the first smart freeway just months away following the awarding of a major contract.
The tender to construct an extra northbound lane on the Kwinana Freeway using smart technology has been awarded to SmartWays Alliance, comprising BMD Constructions Pty Limited, Ventia Pty Limited and Arup Pty Ltd, which will work with Main Roads WA under the contract arrangement.
The Smart Freeway infrastructure will deliver enhanced lane-use management, variable speed limits and co-ordinated ramp signals to deliver safer and more efficient roads.
The project forms part of the Federal and State Governments’ $2.3 billion “boosting jobs, busting congestion” package of WA road and rail projects announced in May.
Federal Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said freeway congestion in Perth was increasingly hindering traffic movement across WA.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the project would create an additional lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge and make use of smart technology to safely implement an ‘all lane running’ environment.
“It will deliver journey time savings of up to 10 minutes for freeway road users travelling northbound from Roe Highway to the city,” Ms Saffioti said.
“In a constrained location where the railway and Swan River prevent traditional widening works, Smart Freeways offer a great solution to help alleviate and manage congestion, while also improving safety for road users.
“This initiative has been highly successful in other cities in Australia and overseas, with Main Roads WA drawing on expertise from across the country and the UK to inform a Smart Freeways solution suitable for Perth.”
Planning for the $47 million project – jointly funded by Federal ($37.6 million) and State ($9.4 million) governments – has begun, with construction and installation expected to be completed in 2019 and earmarked for operation by early 2020.
A spokesman for Ms Saffioti also ‘guaranteed’ works on the widening of the Russell Road to Roe Highway section of Kwinana Freeway will start by the end of the year following discussion with the Federal Government in October or November.