M1 Highway Gold Coast

The Queensland Government’s $1 billion upgrade to the Gold Coast M1 has achieved its first milestone, completing three new lanes between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh and the now functional diverging diamond interchange.

It is the first of the project’s eight total packages and delivered on the extension and relocation of the Exit 85 northbound off-ramp by 250m, the addition of a fourth northbound lane between Reedy Creek (Exit 85) and Burleigh (Exit 87), and the installation of smart motorways technologies to help reduce ‘stop-start’ travel.

When widening the M1, the concrete surface was also replaced with stone mastic asphalt for a quieter and more easily maintained surface.

The Federal Government and Queensland Government have committed a total of $1 billion ($680 million Federal Government and $320 million Queensland Government) to plan and build the Pacific Motorway (M1) Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said this was a major milestone for the project.

“The M1 is Queensland’s busiest road, seeing more than 210,000 vehicles regularly driving it on its busiest days,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“That’s why our record level of investment in the region is helping to reduce travel times and get Gold Coasters home safer and sooner.

“This $1 billion upgrade will widen 10km of the M1, upgrade interchanges, build better service roads and create active transport connections between Varsity Lakes and Tugun.

“Not only is this good for local drivers, but it’s also good for jobs, with 850 jobs supported over the life of the project.”

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King, said opening the first stage of this significant project to motorists is just the start of increasing capacity and improving safety on the M1 between Varsity Lakes and Tugun.

“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,” Ms King said.

“The benefits of the full 10km upgrade will be far-reaching and a welcome relief to those regularly caught in congestion.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, was proud to celebrate the milestone, which would also see a new shared path open.

“This major milestone will deliver huge benefits to the 90,000 commuters who travel between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh each day,” Mr Bailey said.

“We’ll see commuter travel times reduced, safety improved and easier access to important local facilities like the Varsity Lakes train station.

“As an avid bike rider, I also know the new shared paths will be a welcome addition to growing Gold Coast active transport infrastructure.”

The 3m-wide, active transport path on the western side of the M1 now connects Burleigh (Exit 87) interchange with the local bikeway network at the new exit 85 (Old Coach Road) northbound off-ramp.

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