Perth’s First Smart Freeway Will Be Switched On This Weekend

byTroy Mutton
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Here in Perth we love a good running joke.

Like How Many Days Since Bayswater Bridge Has Been Hit? Or “Basil Zempilas will be a good Mayor Lord Of Perth”.

And one of our favourites over the past few years has been the Perth Freeway roadworks, seemingly going on forever and making already annoying traffic conditions even worse*.

Well one thing the coronavirus lockdowns gave the city was time to get those freeway upgrades finished, including one section of the Kwinana Freeway becoming a “Smart Freeway”.

What is a Smart Freeway you ask?

Well, the $47million system hopes to make the stretch of Kwinana Freeway between Farrington Rd and The Narrows the most high-tech road in Australia, featuring over 800 devices including radar units detecting crashes, breakdown and other traffic situations.

And in an interview with ABC 720 this morning, Main Roads WA’s John Venables said the system will be switched on at some point over the course of this weekend.

“There’s a lot of steps and we don’t want to stick to a time, we want to do it correctly and safely.

“It’ll be work through Friday night and into Saturday and sometime when we’re ready, it’ll go live, so we’re not actually going to publicise a time…

“…Certainly we can tell the road users that from Monday morning when they’re coming into work, it’ll be working.”

The technology, borrowed from a system that originated in Europe, hopes to take at least 10 minutes off the average journey, most importantly in the mornings when that stretch of freeway becomes most congested as commuters make their way to the city.

For more information on the Smart Freeway and other news regarding Perth traffic, head to the Smart Freeways WEBSITE.

* Compared to other major cities our traffic “congestion” could actually be so, so much worse.