Freeway Modification Design & Construction Project

Project Description

For this project, Abaxa was involved with Perth’s first Smart Freeway including creation of an additional lane from Canning Highway to Narrows Bridge. The Smart Freeway will use smart technology to open and close traffic lanes in the event of an incident and adjust speed limits to get more traffic through during busy periods.

A Smart Freeway is the best solution for this constrained area, where the railway and the Swan River prevent traditional solutions like road widening. It will provide motorists with greater journey reliability, saving time, reducing costs, and enhancing safety.

Smart Freeways are used successfully around the world to manage congestion, improve safety, and get the most out of existing infrastructure. 

Read more about the project here.

Project challenges included the main road freeway location, a fast and short procurement to mobilisation time, actively working with the project engineer and manager to provide resources to the final design information requirement, navigating complex traffic management approvals, and impact on resource notifications and timing. 

As Utility Locating is first on-site to identify, locate and protect the utilities, site crews and public, Abaxa has developed a procurement and logistics process from its extensive experience on Western Australia’s major civil projects. The team applied this methodology to the Smart Freeway project to successfully deliver on time to keep the project moving without incident.

Abaxa was able to provide multiple utility resources at the frequency required to meet the program goals, to identify and locate utilities for the final design data that was critical to construction approval and the project program. This information and insight kept the project on time and budget and was able to inform traffic management planning and approvals. 

A unique and specific challenge of this project included locating utilities and maintaining a trace and alignment where the utility services crossed deep under the freeway. The depth, water table and ground conditions challenged site crews and required variable geo techniques to identify and locate. Additionally, there were many unexpected and unplanned utilities along the route. The access restrictions for safety proved additionally challenging in the locating process, but were necessary to reduce the risk of “unplanned and untraceable utilities”. Ground conditions on the project were changing constantly, from riverbed areas to hard compaction near roadways, impacting both locating and efficiency.


Abaxa is the largest subsurface provider in Australia. This translated to response times that met the program through proactive client collaboration in permit approvals and resource planning for site crews.

Abaxa was able to mobilise resources in a very short time frame – 7 days from approval to site-ready, managing commercials, and obtaining resource inductions in line with the SMART project program, including plant, and equipment inspections to HSE management plans.

Our Operation and Project technical specialists worked with the project engineers navigating the access plans and assessed of the utility duty of care and locating techniques to obtain the required results to the project timeline, to keep the project moving on time and budget.

  • Zero Injury
  • Zero Utility Incidents
  • Available and On-time to the program as planned
  • Maximum support for emergency response resourcing
  • Daily Service Reports with utility reference plans and utility risk assessment to AS5488

project timeline

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16 accreditations
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12 technicians
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