May 16, 2012

Smart technology for the West Gate Freeway

The Australian and Victorian governments will provide $25 million towards the latest freeway management technology on the West Gate Freeway to help traffic flow and ease congestion.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, and Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Roads, Terry Mulder, today inspected the M1 freeway at Yarraville to announce the smart technology upgrade between the Western Ring Road and Williamstown Road.

The funding will be used to deliver cutting-edge technology including:

  • new mounted variable speed limit signs;
  • new ramp signalling at entry ramps;
  • closed circuit TV;
  • new digital variable message signs to provide live updates about traffic conditions and delays;
  • new signs to advise drivers of which lanes to use and speed restrictions during accidents; and
  • upgrade of supporting communications networks and central control systems.

Minister Albanese said that this technology was about making the West Gate Freeway safer and less congested for the 160,000 vehicles that use it every day.

“This will mean motorists spend less time getting to and from work and more time with their families. Managing the freeway better with new technology will make a real difference to motorists.

“Our partnership with the Victorian Government is proof of both governments’ commitment to improving productivity and safety for the travelling public,” said Mr Albanese.

Minister Mulder said that Victoria was a leader in the installation of this smart technology.

“At the moment, the technology on this section of the M1 is limited to variable speed limits and traffic lights on entry ramps to control access to the freeway,” he said.

“Once completed, the project will provide a seamless technology link between the M1 east of Williamstown Road and the current M80 Upgrade.

“The full integration of these systems will make travel along two of Victoria’s busiest freeways safer and more free flowing.”

The Australian Government has committed $12.5 million to the upgrade through the $60 million National Smart Managed Motorways component of the Nation Building Program, with the Victorian Government also contributing $12.5 million towards the project.