Arup and Amey to design M4 Smart Motorway project in Australia

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Two leading UK-based multidisciplinary infrastructure consultancies will team up to deliver the first of its kind ‘Smart Motorway’ in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW).

Arup, working with Amey, will deliver the M4 Smart Motorway project, with the commission from Roads and Maritime NSW including all technology and civil works, spanning from detailed design through to construction support services. The M4 Smart Motorway project will introduce intelligent technology to monitor traffic conditions, manage congestion, and respond to incidents in real-time on the existing M4 Western Motorway. The project aims to increase traffic throughput, with a potential reduction of peak travel times by up to 15 minutes, and accidents by up to 30%.

The Arup and Amey team was originally formed in the UK, combining Arup’s technical expertise with Amey’s operational management to win a recent £25m (US$31.8m) design package of the Smart Motorway Program on the UK’s M1 motorway. This considerable international knowledge, combined with both companies’ local highways experience, was a significant asset in securing this major Australian project.

The local team drew heavily on the knowledge of their UK counterparts, with key international members joining the design team and attending interviews with Roads and Maritime NSW throughout the tender process. Key features of the project will include additional traffic sensors and CCTV cameras to monitor traffic conditions, and variable message signs (VMS), speed limits, and lane use signs to be able to adapt to demand.

Ramp signals will assist by managing traffic flow onto the motorway. Due to be completed in 2020, the project will bring the M4 into a select class of Smart Motorways in Australia, including another recent Arup project, Melbourne’s M1 Monash and Westgate Freeway Upgrade.

“It is rare that we get an opportunity to influence and shape a city and its transport systems as much as the M4 Smart Motorway will,” commented Ben Schnitzerling, Australasian transport and resources leader at Arup.

“The project is not only about the M4 – it is about delivering cultural change to Sydney’s road network now and into the future. We wanted to be a part of this project, because if done right, it will be the blueprint for Sydney’s future motorways.”

Nicola Hindle, Amey’s managing director for consulting and rail, said, “Because we design, operate and maintain complex transport systems, we really understand how assets behave over their lifetime, and this is crucial when you’re working on infrastructure projects that will change the way people travel for decades to come. We’re delighted to be working with Arup, to once again combine our experience of large-scale infrastructure projects both at home and internationally to enhance and develop Sydney’s road network.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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