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The challenge we’re solving
Introducing Smart Freeway technology and widening the freeway
Kwinana Freeway northbound, from Roe Highway to the Narrows Bridge, experiences severe congestion and stop-start conditions as traffic enters from Canning Highway.
Traditional widening isn’t possible in this constrained area so Main Roads created Perth’s first Smart Freeway by converting the emergency lane into an additional traffic lane, from Canning Highway to the Narrows.
We’ve also installed smart technologies that help our trained staff manage traffic on the freeway and entry ramps, reducing congestion, increasing safety and improving travel times by up to 10 minutes.
Emergency Stopping Bays
Co-ordinated Ramp Signals
Explore the key features
How to use a Smart Freeway
How will my journey be easier?
Main Roads’ state-of-the-art Road Network Operations Centre is responsible for improving road network efficiency – keeping motorists safe while making journey times shorter and more reliable on our Smart Freeway and throughout the entire metropolitan region.
Understanding the electronic overhead signs
To keep traffic moving more smoothly and safely on our Smart Freeway, overhead electronic signs have been installed above the Perth-bound lanes. These signs display lane closure information, the legal speed limit and information relevant to your journey.
Frequently asked questions
What does it mean when the ramp signals are flashing yellow?
The ramp signals are used to prevent congestion on the Smart Freeway -– mainly during peak periods or when there is an incident. They will flash yellow when they switch on and again when they switch off, to let drivers know of the change.
When switching on, the yellow lights flash for 10 seconds followed by four seconds of constant yellow then six seconds of red before switching to the normal green, yellow, red cycle.
When flashing yellow, you may proceed through the lights with caution, just like other traffic signals. If they change to constant yellow before you get to the stop line, stop and wait for the green light signals.
When the ramp signals are switching off, they flash yellow for ten seconds, during which you may proceed with caution.
Will Smart Freeway technology be rolled out across the entire freeway network?
Smart Freeway technology may well be considered for other locations on our freeway network. However, each project will be considered on its own merits and will undergo a rigorous process to ensure the right solution for the area and the network is identified.
What is a Smart Freeway?
Smart Freeways are used successfully around the world to manage congestion, improve safety and get the most out of existing freeway infrastructure.
Using Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), traffic conditions can be monitored and adjusted to reduce congestion by changing speed limits when needed, using ramp signals to make merging easier and opening and closing lanes in the event of an incident.
Where else have Smart Freeways been used?
Smart Freeways are also known as Managed Motorways, Smart Motorways or Managed Freeways. They can be found in North America, Asia, Europe and the UK, along with most eastern states of Australia.
Our Smart Freeway has been built using a ‘safety first’ best practice approach. We’ve taken the best elements from other jurisdictions and tailored a mix of technology and people skills to suit the local environment.
How does the Smart Freeway project differ from other road projects?
The Smart Freeway – Kwinana Northbound project is unique because it included civil construction (the conversion of the emergency lane into a traffic lane) and installation of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) technologies to manage traffic flow.
Both elements had to be completed before the Smart Freeway could be opened and fully-operational.
This included commissioning of the technology, essential system testing and critical training of operational staff.