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SAGE delivered a managed ITS solution to support the widening of Australia's South Eastern Freeway safely and on time, navigating live-traffic conditions.




SAGE Automation delivered a managed Intelligent Transport System (ITS) solution to support the widening of the South Eastern Freeway in a safe and timely manner, navigating live-traffic conditions and disruptions caused by the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Solution design, managed motorway, CCTV, ITS cabinets, ITS commissioning, road loops, LUMS, VMS, TIDS, FAT, TIRTL, HAZOP, and optic fibre network.


Adelaide, South Australia

Director Melbourne Airport

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The South Eastern Freeway (SEF) transports more than 50,000 vehicles every day (a volume which is expected to grow substantially over the coming years) and forms part of the strategic Adelaide to Melbourne road corridor for South Australia. More than 10% of SEF traffic is heavy vehicles, demonstrating how critical the road is for freight as well as commuters.

The Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) identified a need to reduce congestion along a critical 1.3km section of the SEF between Stirling and Crafers by transforming the emergency stopping lane into an additional traffic lane. 

To support this development, DIT engaged SAGE Automation to design and construct the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) component of the Stirling to Crafers Managed Motorway and to upgrade the existing ITS backbone network optic fibre on the SEF.

There are no practical diversion paths for vehicles around the SEF, so SAGE had to plan, construct and commission on a brownfield site around live traffic. Furthermore, an unforeseeable challenge arose mid-project – with COVID-19 arriving in Australia during construction.


SAGE collaborated with the principal contractor who delivered the civil and structural component of the works (BMD Constructions), and the design partner for civil and structural works (WGA) throughout 
the design and construction phases of the project.

SAGE-DIT-managed-motorway-ITSVarious elements of the ITS solution, including VMS, PTZ CCTV, and ITS cabinets near Stirling on the SEF.

ITS equipment designed, constructed, and commissioned by SAGE included:

  • 4x Double ITS cabinets with UPS
  • 8x Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) CCTV cameras
  • 20x Thermal Incident Detection System (TIDS) cameras
  • 1x Type B Variable Message Sign (VMS)
  • 2x Type A2 VMS
  • 17x Lane Usage Management Signs (LUMS)
  • 2x The Infra-Red Traffic Logger (TIRTL) pairs
  • 1x Bluetooth Capture Station (SAGE Edge unit)
  • 36x Road loops

Existing ITS equipment including Variable Message Signs (VMS) and Variable Speed Limit Signs (VSLS) were decommissioned by SAGE as part of the Stirling to Crafers Managed Motorway Project.


The Stirling to Crafers Managed Motorway was designed, constructed, and commissioned in 9 months during a challenging COVID-19 situation at the time.

As a result of SAGE delivering the latest and best ITS solution, DIT now has a complete managed ITS solution between Crafers and Stirling to identify and manage congestion, enhance the safety of both commuters and workers, strengthen their traffic management capabilities to fully manage incidents, future-proof their operations, and access high-quality data to drive analytical decision-making.


Safety in design

The Crafers to Stirling Managed Motorway is located in an area of the Adelaide Hills subject to extreme bushfire conditions. To reduce the exposure of maintenance personnel to bushfire scenarios, ITS cabinets have an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system. In the event of a mains power failure, the automatic bypass switch will automatically switch to bypass mode and power the cabinet from UPS batteries. 

All devices are extra-low voltage except for the LUMS and VMS assets, reducing the risk to maintenance personnel in the event of a failure or collision with an asset.

Managed switches/power rails enable maintenance and network administrators to interrogate cameras and other ITS equipment, by remote power cycle rebooting. This allows operators to attempt to resolve the issue off-site, before attending the site for further investigation.

Extensive FAT

Extensive off-site Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) phase reduced the technical risk, sped up delivery and minimised traffic disruption during construction and commissioning by proving the complete system prior to deployment.

The extensive FAT gave DIT assurance prior to deployment that the SAGE solution worked and met DIT project requirements.

SAGE-Crafers-Exit-ITSA VMS indicates travel time to Mount Barker and Murray Bridge at the Crafers entrance along the SEF.

Future-proofed corridor

SAGE upgraded, and future-proofed the optic fibre network backbone between the computer equipment room at the Heysen Tunnel and the project site, by installing 5.6km of 144 core fibre optic cable and changing the existing equipment from a star topology network into a redundant ring.

Transforming the fibre backbone of the ITS network into a redundant ring alleviated potential issues that arise from managing disparate ITS equipment from one central location. The upgraded fibre optic network allows both the overall network and the ITS equipment to be individually managed, meaning that if any one failure should occur, it will not affect the entire system.

Migration of all existing ITS equipment to the new optic fibre was completed during ‘off peak’ traffic periods. Within the ‘off peak’ period, no single device was offline for more than four hours. This approach ensured the Traffic Management Centre (TMC) had full management of the SEF during ‘peak’ traffic periods.

The solution also factors in DIT’s short-term goals, which involves a major upcoming upgrade of the Heysen Tunnel. Ensuring equipment and systems are not reliant on the Heysen Tunnel being operational was important for this upcoming work.

Agile delivery

With the arrival of COVID-19 and the subsequent halting to all domestic travel, vendors were unable to travel to South Australia to provide local support for commissioning and training. SAGE and its suppliers worked together to develop practical remote solutions, undertaking skill sharing to ensure requirements were met without disrupting delivery or diminishing the quality of the end project


Project Snapshot

Key areas of the project included:

  • Nominate locations of ITS field devices such as ITS cabinets, VMS, LUMS, VSLS, TIRTL, CCTV PTZ, and TIDS 
  • VMS structure procurement and installation
  • Design TIDS and PTZ camera locations to provide 100% coverage
  • Integrate new ITS communication network into existing DIT infrastructure
  • Upgrade existing fibre optic network
  • Futureproof of fibre optic network
  • Interface with LUMS RTA protocol and speed camera monitoring systems
  • Whole-of-life system consideration including maintenance requirements
  • Hazard and Operability Analysis (HAZOP) study

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