Benefits

Congestion busting

The Smart Freeway will ease congestion by changing Kwinana Freeway’s emergency lane into a full time traffic lane, between Canning Highway and the Narrows Bridge.

This will help improve the bottleneck at the Canning Highway on-ramp, reducing journey times during congested periods.

The Canning Highway northbound on-ramp has been a major contributor to traffic congestion on Kwinana Freeway.

Converting the emergency lane into a full time traffic lane means vehicles no longer need to merge into freeway traffic from Canning Highway. This will reduce congestion and keep traffic flowing more smoothly for Perth-bound vehicles on Kwinana Freeway.

To make merging easier, traffic signals have been installed on five northbound on-ramps along Kwinana Freeway.

These signals work the same as normal traffic lights, only faster. They switch quickly between green, yellow and red, allowing one car per lane to join the freeway at a time.

Managing the flow of vehicles onto the freeway makes merging easier and safer. It prevents stop-start conditions building from the merge point and helps keep freeway traffic moving.

 

 

FAQ

Do I still need to merge from the Canning Highway entry point to join the freeway?

You won’t need to merge anymore. We are removing the merge by adding a dedicated freeway lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows. This provides five kilometres of road to also give you time to safely change lanes as needed.

Where are the ramp signals located?

The ramp signals are located on Kwinana Freeway’s northbound on-ramps, approximately 200m before the merge point begins at Farrington Road, South Street, Cranford Avenue and the two northbound on-ramps at Leach Highway.

Where else will ramp signals be installed?

At this stage, ramp signals are only being installed on our Smart Freeway, but may be considered for wider use in the future.

Travel time

The Smart Freeway will improve travel times by up to 10 minutes from Roe Highway through to the Narrows Bridge.

With other upgrades underway from Russell Road northbound to the city, journey times are expected to improve significantly.

By providing an extra traffic lane for Perth-bound travellers joining the freeway at Canning Highway, our new Smart Freeway has removed a major bottleneck and the need to merge immediately.

The installation of ramp signals at Farrington Road, South Street, Leach Highway and Cranford Avenue helps our operators better manage traffic flow onto the freeway, keeping traffic moving and reducing congestion.

As a result, travel time savings of up to 10 minutes can be expected from Roe Highway through to the Narrows.

 

 

FAQ

Do I still need to merge from the Canning Highway entry point to join the freeway?

You won’t need to merge anymore. We are removing the merge by adding a dedicated freeway lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows. This provides five kilometres of road to also give you time to safely change lanes as needed.

Where are the ramp signals located?

The ramp signals are located on Kwinana Freeway’s northbound on-ramps, approximately 200m before the merge point begins at Farrington Road, South Street, Cranford Avenue and the two northbound on-ramps at Leach Highway.

Where else will ramp signals be installed?

At this stage, ramp signals are only being installed on our Smart Freeway, but may be considered for wider use in the future.

Safety

Our new Smart Freeway has been designed with safety at the forefront and includes 24/7 all-weather road monitoring; six emergency stopping bays; electronic lane management to open or close lanes; and dedicated incident response vehicles on call 24/7.

Our Smart Freeway has six emergency stopping bays, located on average every 630 metres, providing off-freeway refuge in the event of a breakdown.

The emergency stopping bays are monitored 24/7 by fixed Stopped Vehicle Detection cameras that alert operators in our Road Network Operations Centre as soon as someone pulls into a bay.

Staff are trained to respond quickly, using the overhead electronic signs to open and close lanes, creating safety zones around stranded motorists unable to reach an emergency stopping bay. They will also notify the dedicated incident response vehicles available 24/7 to attend and assist.

 

 

FAQ

Do I still need to merge from the Canning Highway entry point to join the freeway?

You won’t need to merge anymore. We are removing the merge by adding a dedicated freeway lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows. This provides five kilometres of road to also give you time to safely change lanes as needed.

Where are the ramp signals located?

The ramp signals are located on Kwinana Freeway’s northbound on-ramps, approximately 200m before the merge point begins at Farrington Road, South Street, Cranford Avenue and the two northbound on-ramps at Leach Highway.

Where else will ramp signals be installed?

At this stage, ramp signals are only being installed on our Smart Freeway, but may be considered for wider use in the future.

Best use of existing freeway infrastructure

To overcome congestion caused by increasing traffic, additional lanes are generally constructed. However, with limited space either side of the freeway, between Canning Highway and the Narrows, the emergency lane has been converted to a new traffic lane instead.

With the Swan River on one side and the railway line on the other, there was no room to add another lane to the Kwinana Freeway, between Canning Highway and the Narrows Bridge.

Drawing on successful examples from around Australia and the world, the emergency lane was instead converted to an additional traffic lane.

The technology used to operate Smart Freeways provides better ways to tackle congestion on freeways.

At around half the cost of adding extra lanes, building Smart Freeways make sense.

 

 

FAQ

Do I still need to merge from the Canning Highway entry point to join the freeway?

You won’t need to merge anymore. We are removing the merge by adding a dedicated freeway lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows. This provides five kilometres of road to also give you time to safely change lanes as needed.

Where are the ramp signals located?

The ramp signals are located on Kwinana Freeway’s northbound on-ramps, approximately 200m before the merge point begins at Farrington Road, South Street, Cranford Avenue and the two northbound on-ramps at Leach Highway.

Where else will ramp signals be installed?

At this stage, ramp signals are only being installed on our Smart Freeway, but may be considered for wider use in the future.

Supporting new technologies

Vehicle manufacturers are developing new control and management technologies at pace. It is important our freeways keep abreast with developments and offer technologies and road surfaces best able to complement these innovations.

Technologies like lane keeping (lane departure) are already installed in many new vehicles. This technology needs to identify lane markings in all weather conditions to warn drivers they’re moving from their lane. New Cold Applied Plastic lane markings will be added to the Smart Freeway to support this technology to work optimally.

Our Smart Freeway is playing its part to support these new technologies, with sensors embedded along the roadway and ramps, incident detection radars, thermal CCTV cameras and overhead electronic signs and information boards.

 

 

FAQ

Do I still need to merge from the Canning Highway entry point to join the freeway?

You won’t need to merge anymore. We are removing the merge by adding a dedicated freeway lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows. This provides five kilometres of road to also give you time to safely change lanes as needed.

Where are the ramp signals located?

The ramp signals are located on Kwinana Freeway’s northbound on-ramps, approximately 200m before the merge point begins at Farrington Road, South Street, Cranford Avenue and the two northbound on-ramps at Leach Highway.

Where else will ramp signals be installed?

At this stage, ramp signals are only being installed on our Smart Freeway, but may be considered for wider use in the future.

Dedicated incident response vehicles

Perth’s new Smart Freeway has two dedicated incident response vehicles available 24/7 to help motorists experiencing breakdowns or incidents. Guided by the controllers at our Road Network Operations Centre, help can arrive within minutes.

Our crash cushion trucks provide a solid barrier behind any breakdowns or accidents on Perth’s freeways and there’s one stationed on the Smart Freeway 24/7. They park behind breakdowns and allow tow-trucks and other response vehicles to safely remove the stranded vehicle.

The crash cushion truck on this section of the Smart Freeway can either block off a lane or, if needed, help push a broken-down vehicle to one of the nearby emergency stopping bays.

 

 

FAQ

Do I still need to merge from the Canning Highway entry point to join the freeway?

You won’t need to merge anymore. We are removing the merge by adding a dedicated freeway lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows. This provides five kilometres of road to also give you time to safely change lanes as needed.

Where are the ramp signals located?

The ramp signals are located on Kwinana Freeway’s northbound on-ramps, approximately 200m before the merge point begins at Farrington Road, South Street, Cranford Avenue and the two northbound on-ramps at Leach Highway.

Where else will ramp signals be installed?

At this stage, ramp signals are only being installed on our Smart Freeway, but may be considered for wider use in the future.

FAQ

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.

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 much time will I save driving on the Smart Freeway?

Drivers can expect to save up to 10 minutes when travelling on Kwinana Freeway northbound from Roe Highway to the Narrows Bridge.

Combined with the other upgrade projects on Kwinana Freeway northbound, between Russell Road and the Narrows Bridge, savings of up to 20 minutes are expected for the northbound lanes.

What happens if I break down?

Our Smart Freeway has six emergency stopping bays located an average of 630 metres apart, providing off-freeway refuge in the event of a breakdown.

The emergency stopping bays are constantly monitored by the Road Network Operations Centre staff, who can respond quickly.

If you can’t make it to an emergency bay, stay in your vehicle, keep your seatbelt fastened and put your hazard lights on.

This section of freeway is monitored 24/7 by CCTV and Incident Detection Systems that alert our operators as soon as someone pulls into a bay or stops in a traffic lane. Our operators then close lanes and reduce speeds to assist in keeping you safe until help arrives.

A dedicated Incident Response Service operates 24/7 on the Smart Freeway, which means we will see you and send help quickly.

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