Bumper-to-bumper traffic has become a part of life for most Sydney motorists who frequent the M4 Motorway in peak times. With an increasing population of two million, which is expected to rise by 50 per cent in the next two decades, the NSW government recently announced a major plan to implement "intelligent infrastructure" to support the daily commuters of the M4 Motorway.
Running from Granville's Pitt Street to the Blue Mountains region of Lapstone, the 36-kilometre stretch will be designed to recognise and respond to unforeseeable conditions on the road. Specially tailored technology has been developed to monitor and control the flow of traffic and drastically reduce congestion, leading to less time and emissions being spent on the road.
The development, which will cost the NSW Government an estimated $470 million, will see an increase in electronic message boards and lane direction signs responding to real-time incidents along the M4. These advancements are fitted with sensors, which can read the density of traffic and communicate any congestion back to drivers.
All entrances to the motorway will be fitted with traffic lights, programmed to regulate the steady flow of traffic onto the motorway and effectively reduce congestion. Additionally, the M4 Motorway will be extended to four lanes on each side.
Roads and Maritime Services predicts this project will reduce incidents on the road by 30 per cent, and drastically reduce travel time for commuters in the process.
The Smart Motorway Project is expected to be fully operational by 2020.