Victorian First Technology To Make Napier Street Safer

The Andrews Labor Government will install a new high-tech detection system to stop trucks and other tall vehicles hitting Footscray’s Napier Street Bridge.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan joined Member for Footscray Marsha Thomson today to announce $1.2 million to build new warning systems at the notorious bridge.

Automatic detection systems will be installed on the approaches to the bridge to detect over-height vehicles, and traffic signals will be used to stop drivers before they get to the bridge.

Electronic variable message signs will direct these vehicles to use an alternate route with closed circuit cameras to capture the details of drivers who disobey the advance warnings.

Alarms triggered by over-height vehicles that ignore the warnings will notify authorities immediately.

Napier Street is used by more than 20,000 vehicles each day and is a key arterial route for Melbourne’s inner west.

The project is part of the Labor Government’s Smarter Journeys program, which funds technology that reduces congestion, improves safety and keeps traffic flowing on the state’s road network.

The new warning system follows a $600,000 realignment of the protection beams on both sides of the bridge to reduce the risk of container loads dislodging if they strike the bridge.

There have been more than 70 reported strikes on the Napier Street Bridge since 2005 and despite more than 20 warning signs on the approach to the bridge, trucks and other vehicles continue to hit it.

The Labor Government is working with the local community and industry to reduce low-clearance bridge strikes and take trucks off local roads across the inner west.

Works on the project will start next month and are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan

“This Victorian first technology will detect vehicles before they reach the bridge and alert the driver while there’s still time to take an alternate route.”

“Bridge strikes put people at risk and they can be easily avoided. It’s the responsibility of all drivers to know the height of their vehicle and choose an appropriate route.”

Quotes attributable to the Member for Footscray, Marsha Thomson

 “There have been 70 bridge strikes at Napier Street since 2005. This is unacceptable and these improvements will make the bridge safer for everyone.”

“We’re investing in the infrastructure we need to make suburbs safer and take trucks off local roads in the inner west – the West Gate Tunnel, the Port Rail Shuttle project and high-tech solutions to prevent bridge strikes.”