Contraflow Exercise

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6th November 2009, 01:39pm - Views: 741

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06 November 2009




The RTA and NSW Police will be carrying out a traffic control training exercise on the F3

Freeway between the Mt White Heavy Vehicle Checking Station and the Calga

Interchange on Sunday 22 November 2009 between 6.30am and 10am.

This exercise forms part of the NSW Government’s new $28 million traffic management

plan for major incidents on the F3 and follows on from the installation of new detour signs

on the freeway.

An RTA Spokesperson said the aim of the exercise is to train RTA and police officers in

the implementation of a contra-flow plan to divert traffic around major crash scenes and

other incidents involving full carriageway closures.

“This is about improving our capability to respond to major incidents on the F3 and to allow

traffic to safely use the other side of the freeway,” the spokesperson said.

“The contra-flow plan is only to be used where practical and for incidents that have the

potential to close the Freeway for a significant time. 

The F3 is one of the busiest roads in the country and carries more than 70,000 vehicles a


“The freeway is 127 kilometres long, cuts through mountains, passes through bushland,

crosses gorges, the Hawkesbury River and Mooney Mooney Creek,” the spokesperson


“This exercise gives the RTA and Police the opportunity to test the crossover points and

the new traffic management plan on a uniquely different road section of the F3.

“In October last year a similar training exercise was held at Wahroonga with great

success. This time the training exercise will involve a different scenario further north. 

“The exercise will be recorded and used in the training of staff who may be called upon to

help manage incidents on the F3,” the spokesperson said.

Northbound motorists will be diverted onto the Pacific Highway whilst the contra flow is

being set up. Once the contra-flow is operating, northbound motorists will travel on one

northbound lane. 

Southbound motorists will be directed from the southbound carriageway of the F3 Freeway

onto the other two northbound lanes for a distance of three and a half kilometres and then

return to the southbound carriageway.

“Traffic cones will be placed along the entire length of the contra flow between F3

northbound lanes 1 and 2 to safely separate the opposing flows of traffic,” the

spokesperson said.

“The speed limit for both directions will be 40kmh to allow the contra-flow to be introduced

safely, this will be strictly enforced.

“Motorists are asked to drive with care and follow the directions of traffic controllers and

electronic signs, including reduced speed limits.

“Motorists are advised to expect delays on the F3 and Pacific Highway while the training

exercise is taking place.

“So far the RTA has upgraded 17 crossover points on the F3 with another seven to be

completed by the end of 2009 to allow traffic to be safely switched to the opposite side of

the freeway. 

“A new crossover point has been installed north of Wahroonga with another one just south

of Warnervale. 

“Four new traffic cameras have been installed and another four will be placed around the

F3 to increase the number of live feeds to the RTA’s state-of-the-art Transport

Management Centre.  

“In addition, nine depots will be built at strategic points along the F3 to house traffic

management equipment to allow a faster response in the event of a major emergency. 

“This is about improving our response times and getting traffic moving on the F3 after

major closures and emergencies,” the spokesperson said. 

A system of detour signs has also started to be installed on the F3 freeway and

surrounding roads as part of the overall strategy for the Freeway incident management

plan, with the initiative aimed at reducing delays and providing motorists with a recognised

alternative route during major crashes or emergencies such as bushfires. 

The spokesperson said around 1000 signs had already been installed along the freeway at

decision points on key alternate routes to assist motorists using these detours.

“The installation of the permanent yellow detour signs which feature a black ‘D’ or ‘D1’ in a

yellow box will guide motorists along the detour routes and where to get off and back on

the freeway when sections of the F3 are closed,” the spokesperson said.

“This signposting can be seen along alternative routes of the F3 including the Pacific

Highway, Central Coast Highway, Manns Road, Peats Ridge Road, Sparks Rd, Wyee

Road, Hue Road, Yarramalong Road, and Old Maitland Road.

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“The RTA will soon start installing

large shutter signs along the F3 to inform motorists of

the beginning of a detour. These will be turned to a blank display during normal traffic flow


“However, in the event of a major incident these

signs will be changed electronically by

RTA field crews and the displayed message will advise motorists that the freeway is

closed and to use the relevant signposted detour route.”

“The ‘D’ and ‘D1’ signs indicate the detour for road users to follow in the event of a road


It is expected the signposting scheme will be complete and ready for use on the F3 later

this year.


RTA Media Unit   8588 5999

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