Arup-BMD-Ventia alliance awarded Western Australia’s first Smart Freeway project


The SmartWays Alliance, a partnership between BMD Constructions, infrastructure services provider Ventia and UK-based consultancy Arup, has been awarded the first Smart Freeway project in Western Australia.

The SmartWays Alliance will be responsible for the A$47m (US$33.5m) Smart Freeways – Kwinana Northbound project in Perth, which will see an additional 6.2 mile-long (10km) lane from Canning Highway to the Narrows Bridge completed by early 2020.

When complete, ‘smart technology’ will open and close traffic lanes in the event of an incident and adjust speed limits to get more throughput of traffic during busy periods. The project is intended to increase road capacity by 33%, adjusting speed limits based on traffic demands in congested periods, and to provide improved journey times for residents in Perth’s southern suburbs.

Arup will be delivering the design of intelligent transport systems (ITS) for all-lanes running, lane use signage, and coordinated ramp signals. The company’s strong track record in the smarter mobility will see the Kwinana Northbound Freeway with improved efficiency driven by operational needs and user requirements.

With the Smart Freeways/Managed Motorways concept used successfully around the world to reduce congestion, improve safety and get the most out of existing infrastructure, the solution is considered to be the best for the constrained area in Perth’s suburbs, where the existing railway lines and the Swan River prevent traditional widening.

Arup’s transport engineering specialists will ‘spaceproof’ a constrained brownfield corridor and visualize the infrastructure by harnessing the company’s digital engineering capability, which is an approach used to envisage the outcomes, and assess and test the design prior to the start of construction. In addition, the company will also deliver the Operational Readiness Activation and Transition (ORAT) services to facilitate a seamless transition to traffic operations.

This is the third recent contract that the BMD construction group has been awarded by Main Roads Western Australia to transform Perth’s freeways to support population growth and economic development. The company is also delivering the Kwinana Freeway Northbound Widening – Russell Road to Roe Highway, and Mitchell Freeway Southbound Widening – Cedric Street to Vincent Street upgrade schemes.

“We are proud of being involved in the first Smart Freeway development in Perth. The addition of the new lane and the lane-use management system will provide improved traffic flow on the freeway, reduce safety hazards and optimize existing infrastructure,” said Michael Price, Arup Australia’s major projects leader for highways. “We have a history of participating in projects that are shaping Perth, and see this as the next stage in further developing Western Australia.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.