Drivers face major highway change

Published 9:00am 9 January 2024

Drivers face major highway change
Words by Nick Crockford

Motorists using the Bruce Highway southbound entry ramp from Caboolture-Bribie Island Rd will soon see significant changes (graphic above).

Powered by Smart Motorways technology, ramp signals will be used on four lanes during busy times or incidents on the road network.

The new ramp arrangement and technology is under construction and expected to be operational in March, after testing.

Transport and Main Roads (TMR) says two new outside lanes on the ramp will give greater “storage capacity” to help manage traffic entering the highway.

These lanes will be used when the overhead sign, being installed, is displaying a speed limit.

Drivers face major highway change
Smart Motorways project from Gateway Motorway to Caboolture.

Once free-flowing conditions return, the temporary use storage lanes will close and the overhead ramp signals will display a solid red cross.

Motorists must not travel in a lane when a solid red cross is displayed overhead. When ramp signals are not in use, the ramp will be a two-lane operation.

The new arrangement is part of the Bruce Highway – Pine River to Caloundra Road Smart Motorways Stage 2 (SMS2) project.

Smart Motorways technologies include ramp signals, variable speed limit and message signs, vehicle detection systems and closed circuit television cameras.

Construction for the SMS2 project started in 2022 and technology testing is underway from Pine River to Caloundra Rd. Work is expected to finish early this year.

Drivers face major highway change
Smart Motorways project from Caboolture to Sunshine Coast

The $105 million project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($84m) and Queensland Government ($21m). It supports an average of 140 direct jobs.

Regional Director Scott Whitaker, North Coast Region, Program Delivery and Operations, Infrastructure Management and Delivery says drivers should note the changes.

“Stage 2 of the Smart Motorways project expands on the success of the previous roll-out of these important technologies between Uhlmann Rd and Pine River," he said.

“We urge everyone to drive to the changed traffic conditions as we go live with the new ramp arrangement and technology and road users familiarise themselves with these changes.”

The highway upgrade between Caboolture-Bribie Island Rd and Steve Irwin Way (Exit 163), is set to finish early this year.

Three lanes on the northbound section opened before Christmas and the third lane of the southbound carriageway will open early this year.

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