Highway to the danger zone
MOTORISTS can enjoy faster travel times along the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway stretch, with the implementation of 24 electronic variable speed limit signs.
The three and a half kilometre section south of Broadwater will have a speed limit increased to 100km/h when works are not being carried out.
The new signs in the temporary work zones aim to improve road users experience by reducing delays, helping drivers adapt their speed to conditions and improving safety for road users and construction workers.
New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey, alongside New South Wales Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis visited Broadwater yesterday to make the switch to the speed limit signs for the first time.
"Reinstating the highway speed limits in out of work hours would improve reliability and efficiency, which is key for the freight and logistics industry,” Mrs Pavey said.
"The new trailer-mounted electronic speed limit signs will also improve worker safety by altering speed limits remotely, removing the need to change signs manually.
"(It takes) the stress out of people's lives.
"This is our bit to say we understand those frustrations, and we're using technology at its finest.”
Mr Gulaptis said RMS was working with the project team to implement a number of traffic management initiatives along the 155km upgrade to provide safer and more efficient journeys while work is carried out.
"If successful the signs could be rolled out at other work sites across the upgrade and on other road work zones across New South Wales,” Mr Gulaptis said.
As the last section of the highway to be completed, he said "we are seeing the benefits of all the innovation and all the opportunities that the highway brings to regional areas”.
The signs will be controlled remotely from Sydney initially, with speed limits of 60km/h or 80km/h during construction work hours.
The signs come as disruption to road users increase; 62% of the Pacific Highway along this stretch is impacted by construction activities and the upgrade is due to open by 2020.