Melbourne has switched on a managed motorway network to provide safer and more reliable journeys on its busiest freeways.
Overhead gantries, road sensors and traffic monitoring cameras have been installed on more than 150 kilometres of freeways and will aim to link in with technology already in use on sections of the West Gate Freeway, CityLink and the M1.
Freeway to freeway ramp signals have been operational for six months on the exit ramp of the Bolte Bridge heading to the Burnley Tunnel, allowing for an extra 500 cars to get through during peak times.
Since the signals were turned on, the Victorian Government says queue lengths over the Bolte Bridge have been reduced by up to two kilometres and nose-to-tail crashes have dropped by 80 per cent.
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.
The currently installed ramp signals on sections of the Monash Freeway have improved average speeds by up to 20 kilometres per hour and a 30 per cent reduction in the casualty crash rate the Victorian Government says.
The Tullamarine freeway has had 95 overhead gantries installed, as well as 10 signalised on-ramps, with new freeway to freeway ramp signals and six new overhead gantries on the M80 Ring Road.
Engineers will be able to use the overhead gantries, lane use data and dynamic speed signs to help keep traffic moving safely around incidents.
The extension of the managed motorway system aims to roll out over the coming months, starting on the Monash Freeway.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the motorway system will give drivers a safer, faster and less stressful journeys.
“Freeways are just seven percent 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,” he said.