fbpx Smart Motorways Field Trip Update | LEARNZ

Smart Motorways Field Trip Update

Key Technology Questions
New Zealand Roads (Smart Motorways)

During the Smart Motorways 2 field trip you will see the progress that has been made over the last six months. You will discover more about how this smart motorway has been designed and how it will help Wellington.

Building New Zealand’s first smart motorway

To make a motorway ‘smart’ it needs to be;

  • well designed and built
  • use technology
  • drivers need to be told how to use it properly. 

What can you remember from the first field trip about how a Smart Motorway works?

Building the smart motorway 

The smart motorway will be made by:

  • Removing and replacing the central median barrier 
  • Moving an old bridge
  • Building gantries for signs
  • Widening the SH2 off-ramp 
  • Building an emergency on-ramp for emergency services.

By making small changes to the motorway, another lane can be made. This will mean there is more space on the road, so congestion will be reduced. 

Clever methods have been used to find space for this new lane. Such as:

  • A small grass verge will be used
  • An unused edge of an over bridge will become part of the new lane
  • Replacing the old gravel-filled median barrier with a thinner and safer concrete barrier.

Progress on site since the first field trip in August 2015

When you visit the Smart Motorway site in March 2016 you will notice that this work has been done:

  • The unused off-ramp at Kaiwharawhara has been pushed closer to the highway and joined to the Thorndon Overbridge with concrete. The bridge will become part of the new northbound lane
  • Eight new overhead gantries have been placed 
  • Over 1500m of central median barrier has been replaced
  • Street lights are being replaced with more natural, lower energy LED bulbs.

NZTA's updates and more about the completed Smart Motorway site: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/wellington-northern-corridor/smart-motorway/.


Along with the technology being used to build the Smart Motorway other tools are also being developed. You can check out a new mobile friendly website called DriveLive Smart Capital which gives up to date travel times for key routes in Wellington. The information is updated every five minutes. http://drivelive.nz/smartcapital

During the second field trip you will be able to visit the Smart Motorway site. You will meet experts to find out more about the design of the Smart Motorway and the technology that makes a motorway smarter. You will also see how drivers are being taught about how to use the smart motorway. See you 1-3 March 2016 in Wellington!


Audio Māori keywords: 

What types of technology can you use to help you travel to different places and how does this help you and your community?

Clever ways of using the current motorway such as moving the bridge at Kaiwharawhara has helped make the smart motorway possible. How do you think this bridge was lifted and moved? Image: NZTA.

The old central median barrier has been removed and replaced with a narrower concrete barrier. Why do you think this was done?

During the first Smart Motorways field trip you saw work being done on the central median barrier. What has been done on site since this first field trip? Image: NZTA.

Eight new gantries have been completed since the first field trip. What will these gantries be used for? Image: NZTA.

A gantry is installed during a road closure. Why do you think a lot of work is done at night time? Image: NZTA.

Key Technology Questions
New Zealand Roads (Smart Motorways)