Traffic will soon be flowing on the Gold Coast’s first diverging diamond interchange (DDI) as part of the $1 billion Pacific Motorway M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun (VL2T) upgrade.
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said a significant transformation was taking place at Exit 87 – a key interchange on the Pacific Motorway.
“Once complete, this 10km upgrade – which includes the first DDI on the Gold Coast – will bring long-awaited relief for local motorists by increasing capacity, improving safety between Varsity Lakes and Tugun,” Minister Fletcher said.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said drivers would soon be driving on the new interchange for the first time.
“This new traffic pattern may take some adjustment at first, which is why we’ve released our realistic drive-through video to help locals understand how to safely and easily navigate the interchange,” Bailey said.
“This interchange design is the first of its kind on the Gold Coast, and only the second in Queensland.
“The project team have managed to build the interchange in a live traffic environment, while contending with the record-breaking rainfall totals.”
Environment, Science and Youth Minister and Gold Coast-based MP Meaghan Scanlon said tens of thousands of drivers would be using the diamond diverging interchange very soon.
“The benefits of the 10km upgrade will be felt far and wide through our southern Gold Coast communities, who are regularly caught in congestion in the area,” Scanlon said.
“Over the course of the project, we’ve seen 13 major traffic changes in the northernmost part of the upgrade.
“More than 30km of temporary line marking have been painted to enable the traffic changes to take place safely – that’s the equivalent to marking The Gabba boundary 64 times.
“More than $4.8 billion in road and transport projects are being delivered in the South Coast region over the next four years to the benefit of Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim locals.
“This includes the $2.16 billion Coomera Connector Stage 1 between Coomera and Helensvale, where early works are already underway.
Scanlon says the 2.3km stretch should be complete by the end of the year.
“With an upgrade this big, more temporary traffic changes will be needed while the work is underway, so I urge locals to follow signage and the direction of traffic controllers.”
Federal Member for McPherson, Karen Andrews said it was terrific to see real progress being made at the Exit 87 interchange – connecting Southport-Burleigh Road (Bermuda Street), Oyster Creek Drive and the M1
“As the local Member, I fought hard for these $1 billion upgrades to extend all the way south to Tugun – to improve travel times, boost the local economy and create jobs,” Andrews said.
“The new Diverging Diamond Interchange is a vital connection enabling locals, tourists and fright drivers to enjoy a safer and smoother journey.
“The Coalition understands how these improvements connect communities across South East Queensland – which is why we’re investing a total of $2.1 billion on seven projects across the Pacific Motorway M1.”
The new Exit 87 interchange connecting Southport-Burleigh Road, Oyster Creek Drive and the M1 is expected to be open this month.
The $1 billion project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $680 million and the Queensland Government $320 million.