New Technology to Cut Freeway Congestion

>As part of Melbourne’s $1.4 billion M1 upgrade project, a new traffic management system is being developed to effectively tackle congestion on the key freeway.

Victorian Roads Minister Tim Pallas has announced the $14 million contract to design the software for the new traffic management system has been awarded to Queensland company Transmax.

“The system is unique in Australia and will deliver significant improvements to the operation of the freeway, used by more than 160,000 motorists every day,” Mr Pallas said.

“The contract will design the software used by freeway ramp signals to monitor and control traffic, as well as on-road signage to communicate to drivers about lane closures, speed limits and freeway conditions.”

The project includes the installation of ramp signals at more than 60 locations on the freeway, in order to better manage peak-0hour traffics by preventing the main road from becoming overly congested, while controlling traffic volumes at critical bottlenecks.

Speed and lane control will also be in place and new technology integrating the operation of the signals will enable VicRoads to respond immediately to incidents and freeway congestion.
Mr Pallas said the development of this technology would put the M1 project at the forefront of international congestion management strategies.

“Combined with M1 design improvements, there changes would ensure the M1 is able to handle a 50 per cent increase in traffic volumes and reduce accidents by 20 per cent,” he said.

Transmax has been working with the Victorian Government to develop the complex operating system behind the metering system, which is already achieving success as part of a trial on the Monash Freeway.

Works to install the new freeway management system are already underway, with the complete rollout planned for December 2010.

Source: tandlnews.com.au

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