Technically rewarding smart motorway project achieves milestone

The Transport for NSW M4 Smart Motorway project - the first of its kind in New South Wales to deliver real-time digital traffic technology to motorists - has been a technically rewarding project for contractor, Seymour Whyte.

Photo: The last of the M4 Smart Motorway gantries being installed across the motorway.

Sydney's M4 motorway carries 200,000 vehicles per day; and Seymour Whyte was awarded the M4 Smart Motorway project [Stages 2 and 3] in March 2018  to install intelligent transport technology and the associated overhead gantries to provide motorists with real time information for a safer, smoother and more reliable journey.

Steve Lambert, Seymour Whyte General Manager – Southern has recognised the project team’s outstanding achievements in finding safe innovative solutions through project planning with minimal impacts to residents and commuters.

"It's no mean feat: Installing all 46 smart motorway gantries on this section of the M4, in less than a year, is a major milestone and a critical step forward in preparing Sydney's road network to providing a better experience for motorists through smart technology," Mr Lambert said.

"Our approach to 'working in partnership' with all our project stakeholders, defines Seymour Whyte's ability to confidently take on the most challenging and complex projects around Australia," Mr Lambert said.

The team has delivered upgrades to five key intersections, installed intelligent transport technology across 30km of the M4 Motorway between Parramatta and Penrith in western Sydney; and built 46 maintenance bays for the installation of overhead gantries.

Photo: M4 Smart Motorway overhead gantry.

The gantries were installed over a series of 23 motorway closures.

Typically, one or two gantries are installed during a motorway closure, however, the team resourced up and delivered five gantries during the final night shift to minimise impacts on motorists and take advantage of reduced traffic volumes.

Project Director Andrew Deck considers a key part of the project’s success was the establishment and development of a very strong team that understands the 'Seymour Whyte Way' in pursuit of operational excellence.

"The project adopted a management structure that encouraged collaboration and a 'can-do-attitude' across all project disciplines – ensuring that the enabling bodies of safety, community relations, environment and traffic were at the forefront of all planning activity," Mr Deck said.

"The project’s collaborative approach has been recognised as a positive example of client and contractor working together for mutually beneficial outcomes; because of the positive culture we’ve cultivated during the project’s delivery," Mr Deck said.

Project Manager Scott Calleja said working on one of Sydney's busiest roads required a lot of traffic management planning, managing motorway closures and detours, as well as building strong relationships with stakeholders.

"Our team, which consisted of an in-house Traffic Manager embedded in the delivery team, managed a lot of the traffic modelling work internally, which was critical to the success of the project. This allowed the project team to develop a stringent delivery program that made best use of motorway closures and detours, while minimising impacts to the greater road network and our project stakeholders," Mr Calleja said.

Mr Calleja added, "We are also very proud of the many development opportunities offered to staff particularly young engineers through secondments and engineering boot camps. One of our engineers, Daniel Stojcevski, will be spending a year working in France with VINCI Construction as part of our International Graduate Program".

The project has been a true testament to Seymour Whyte's commitments of delivering a project safely in collaboration with all stakeholders, and with respect for local communities.

As the project is nearing completion it won't be long before motorists will start to enjoy the benefits of a smart motorway in Sydney.  

Smart motorways

Smart motorways, also known as managed motorways, use complementary technologies to monitor traffic conditions, manage congestion and respond to incidents in real time. The M4 Smart Motorway will introduce a smarter way of travelling the M4 by using real time information, communication and traffic management tools to provide motorists with a safer, smoother and more reliable journey.