The Queensland Government has awarded the first construction contract for the $1 billion Pacific Motorway (M1) upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun (VL2T).

The contract to upgrade the first section of motorway between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh had been awarded to Seymour Whyte Constructions.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said, “I’ve always said we would accelerate works on this much larger upgrade, so it was ready to roll as soon as the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes project was completed, and we have met that commitment.

“This is an incredibly important milestone for the overarching 10km upgrade.

“The major works include widening the M1 from two to three lanes in both directions, extending entry and exit ramps and rebuilding Burleigh Interchange (Exit 87) into a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI).

“The DDI will be a first for the Gold Coast, providing a new way to keep traffic moving and improve safety for motorists, bike riders and pedestrians.”

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said by keeping work flowing on M1 projects and others like it, the government was investing in the community during this difficult period.

“The construction industry plays an essential role in supporting Queensland jobs,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Fighting COVID-19 is the major focus of my government right now but we will keep investing in major infrastructure right across Queensland.

“The Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade is set to support almost 850 jobs at a time when creating and maintaining jobs has never been more critical.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said the Federal Government had prioritised the importance of keeping vital infrastructure projects on track through the COVID-19 crisis.

“This project will be critical to infrastructure and hundreds of jobs on the Gold Coast,” Mr Tudge said.

“We’re adding more lanes to one of the most congested sections between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh to get motorists home sooner and safer.

“It’s part of our $100 billion infrastructure pipeline that is just as important now, as ever.”

Federal Member for McPherson, Karen Andrews, said the congestion-busting project would also help bolster the Gold Coast economy for years to come.

“The Morrison Government is investing in the Gold Coast to support our economy in the best way it can now, while also ensuring our growing population is supported in the future,” Ms Andrews said.

“Gold Coast drivers will be pleased to know the Coronavirus isn’t affecting construction, with the start of minor works on track to begin in the coming weeks.”

The M1 Pacific Motorway Upgrade Program – Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.

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