Technology leads Newell Highway project

21 May 2020

New technology to change speed zones instantly and eliminate risks to traffic control workers has been successfully trialled in the western region.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said Variable Speed Limit (VSL) signs were trialled on a project to deliver a new southbound overtaking lane on the Newell Highway, about four kilometres south of Peak Hill.

“The NSW Government is powering ahead with its commitment to build about 30 overtaking lanes in four years to boost freight productivity and save road users about 25 minutes of travel time along the highway’s length with 15 lanes already either delivered or under construction,” Mr Toole said.

“While building the latest overtaking lane at Peak Hill, we also rolled out VSL signs, which is the first time they’ve been used in the western part of the state.

“This technology has the capability of changing speed zones instantly by a computer application, eliminating the need for traffic control workers to manually change the speed signs, and affording motorists improved visibility of lit-up signs in poor light conditions and wet weather.”

The latest 1.5-kilometre overtaking lane at Peak Hill is the ninth new overtaking lane delivered by the Newell Highway Program Alliance since it was formed in January last year.

“We are excited to have delivered the Peak Hill overtaking lane within four months, despite eight days lost due to wet weather,” Mr Toole said. "Its completion is hot on the heels of the opening of a northbound overtaking lane at Telescope, which was completed and open to traffic in mid-April.”

The project team employed 28 local workers in the delivery of the Peak Hill overtaking lane and 28 at the Telescope site. A minimum total of 45 kilometres of new overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway will be built over four years to improve safety, reduce travel times, allow more accurate travel planning and improve freight productivity.

Another six overtaking lanes are currently under construction along the highway. For more information, visit:

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