A Smarter Motorway

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Continuing improvements in technology means roads are getting smarter.

Improvements in technology means roads are getting smarter.

The next evolution of roads is coming

As with many things we use in our lives, roads are beoming smarter. NZTA is currently working on a modern traffic management project in Wellington that will see the construction of New Zealand’s first smart motorway.

What are the project’s main objectives?

The project is all part of the NZ Transport Agency’s upgrade of the Ngauranga Gorge to Aotea Quay section of Wellington’s urban motorway. It aims to reduce congestion, make journey times more reliable, and improve safety on this section of road. 

What has been the issue?

Ngauranga Gorge to Aotea Quay is the busiest road in the Wellington region carrying over 90,000 vehicles per day. Before the project began, the average afternoon peak travel times were 59% longer than during nonpeak times. Average travel time increased by over two minutes during the peak, from 3 minutes 35 seconds to 5 minutes 43 seconds between SH1 Hobson Street and Ngauranga Gorge. Travel time reliability was 56%. This means that only about half the time can drivers rely on how long their trip will take them.

What will the changes be?

The two key changes will be: 

  • introducing the ‘smart motorway’ system which involves enhancing the ATMS (advanced traffic management system). 
  • adding another northbound lane between the Aotea Quay on-ramp and the Ngauranga Gorge / State Highway 2 intersection
  • replacing the median barrier
  • widening the State Highway 2 off-ramp at Ngauranga
  • lengthening the existing sign gantries and adding a number of new ones
  • building a new southbound on-ramp for emergency services at Ngauranga.

Four-laning State Highway 1 southbound from the Ngauranga Gorge / State Highway 2 intersection to the Aotea Quay off-ramp is also planned but not yet programmed.

 

 

 

The next evolution of roads is coming

As with many things we use in our lives, roads are becoming smarter. NZTA is currently working on a project to make New Zealand’s first smart motorway.

What are the project’s main objectives?

 The project is part of the NZTA’s upgrade of the Ngauranga Gorge to Aotea Quay part of Wellington’s motorway. It aims to: 

  • reduce congestion
  • improve travel times 
  • improve safety. 

What has been the issue?

Ngauranga Gorge to Aotea Quay is the busiest road in the Wellington region. During peak times:

  • travel times are much longer 
  • drivers can count on how long their trip will take them only half of the time.

What will the changes be?

The key changes will be: 

  • introducing the ‘smart motorway’ system which involves improving the ATMS (active traffic management system)
  • adding an extra lane in both directions
  • replacing the median barrier
  • widening the State Highway 2 off-ramp at Ngauranga
  • lengthening the existing sign gantries and adding a number of new ones
  • building a new southbound on-ramp for emergency services at Ngauranga.
Māori keywords: 
   
   
   
   
   
   
Samoan keywords: 
 poloka  barrier
 taimi e faimalaga ai   travel time
 tumutumuga  peak, maximum
 magaala   intersection (meeting point)
 auala laupapa  ramp (noun) 
 atamai (poto)   smart (clever, intelligent)
 auala autu  main road, highway
 masini  technology
magāala  lane, pathway, track
Tongan keywords: 
 polokapale'anga  barrier
 taimi folautaimi fononga  travel time
 tumutumu'angatumutu mu, ngata'anga  peak, maximum
 manga fatuu'anga fetaulake, halaanga fehoko'aki
 intersection (meeting point)
 hala hake (sloping up) hala hifo (sloping down)
 ramp (noun) 
 poto  smart (clever, intelligent)
 hala lahi  main road, highway
 misini/tekinolosia  technology
 halanga  lane, pathway, track
Cook Islands Maori keywords: 
 paruru  barrier
 tuatau tere  travel time
 maata'anga  peak, maximum
 kite pakari  smart (clever, intelligent)
 ara metua  main road, highway
 ara  lane, pathway, track
Niuean keywords: 
 pa  barrier
 magaaho fenoga  travel time
 mafegahala
 intersection (meeting point)
 hala laupapa
 ramp (noun) 
 lotomatala  smart (clever, intelligent)
 puhala-tu lahi/puhala-tu fakaholo mafiti  main road, highway
 tekenolo  technology
tau hala o hui  lane, pathway, track

Identify a road near you that could benefit from smart technology. What "smarts" would this road need?

Identify a road near you that could benefit from smart technology. What "smarts" would this road need?



Ngauranga Gorge to Aotea Quay is the busiest road in the Wellington region. Image: NZTA.

The smart motorway will improve the current ATMS (active traffic management system). Image: LEARNZ.

Replacing the median barrier is also part of the project. Image: NZTA.

Adding new sign gantries is another change being made to this part of the motorway. Image: NZTA.