Melbourne motorway network gets smarter
Sophisticated smart technology is being installed on Melbourne roads to better manage traffic and incident response times.
The managed motorway network will be switched on along the newly upgraded Tullamarine Freeway, Monash Freeway and M80 Ring Road.
Overhead gantries, road sensors and traffic monitoring cameras have been installed on more than 150 kilometres of freeways and will link in with technology already in use on sections of the West Gate Freeway, CityLink and the M1.
“We’re switching on Australia’s largest managed motorway system to give drivers safer, faster and less stressful journeys,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan.
“Freeways are just 7% of our road network but they carry almost half of all traffic — around 13 million trips each day — that’s why we’re investing in smart technology that will allow us to move more people, per lane, per hour.”
Freeway-to-freeway ramp signals have been operating successfully for six months on the exit ramp from the Bolte Bridge heading to the Burnley Tunnel, allowing an extra 500 cars an hour to get through during peak times.
Since the signals were turned on, queue lengths over the Bolte Bridge have reduced by up to two kilometres and nose-to-tail crashes have dropped by 80%, without impacting on the reliability of the West Gate corridor.
As part of the Monash Freeway Upgrade, 34 new overhead gantries, 336 new electronic signs, eight variable messaging signs and seven signalised on-ramps are being rolled out.
Already in operation on other sections of the Monash Freeway for more than a decade, ramp signals have seen average speeds increase by up to 20 km/h and a 30% reduction in the casualty crash rate.
Ninety-five overhead gantries have been installed on the newly upgraded Tullamarine Freeway, as well as 10 signalised on-ramps.
There are also new freeway-to-freeway ramp signals, and six new overhead gantries on the M80 Ring Road.
These overhead gantries, lane use and dynamic speed signs will allow engineers to help keep traffic moving safely around incidents, preventing the network from coming to a halt because of one breakdown.
The extension of the managed motorway system will be rolled out progressively over the coming months, starting on the Monash Freeway, boosting reliability and safety, ensuring smoother journeys and helping more people get where they need to go.
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