The initial section of a $1 billion upgrade to Queensland’s busiest road, which sees up to 210,000 vehicles on its busiest days, has now been opened.
The 10-kilometre upgrade to the Pacific Motorway (M1) between Varsity Lakes and Tugun, with a whopping 10-digit price-tag, will include widening, upgrading interchanges and building improved service roads.
A 2.3-kilometre section between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh is the first to be completed, with new lanes now open along this stretch.
“The opening of three lanes between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh and the fully functioning diverging diamond interchange is the start of a transformation of the M1 for Southern Gold Coast communities,” said Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King.
“The benefits of the full 10-kilometre upgrade will be far-reaching and a welcome relief to those regularly caught in congestion.”
The works in the Varsity Lakes to Burleigh section included extending and relocating the Exit 85 northbound off-ramp by 250 metres, adding a fourth northbound lane between Reedy Creek (Exit 85) and Burleigh (Exit 87), and installing smart motorways technologies to help reduce ‘stop-start’ travel.
Around 90,000 commuters travel between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh each day.
When widening the M1, the concrete surface was also replaced with stone mastic asphalt which is said to be quieter and easier to maintain.
The diverging diamond interchange opened four months ago, but is now fully operational and all permanent traffic signals are switched on.
The Australian Government and Queensland Government have committed a total of $1 billion ($680 million Australian Government and $320 million Queensland Government) to plan and build the Pacific Motorway (M1) Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade.