A Smarter Motorway

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Continuing 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.

 

 

 

Audio Maori keywords: 


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

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What is a Smart Motorway?

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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.

Comments

I wonder where the next smart

Comment: 
I wonder where the next smart motorway will be? Maybe somewhere in Auckland?

I wonder how much congestion

Comment: 
I wonder how much congestion is the trigger for doing something about it?

I wonder what is the cost of

Comment: 
I wonder what is the cost of land so a smart motorway becomes cost-effective. Urban land is more expensive than rural land so maybe smart motorways would never be a solution for rural places.