MAJOR works on the $1.162 billion Gateway Upgrade North project were officially launched in Brisbane last week by the Queensland and Australian governments.
At a sod turning event to mark the start of works, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the upgrade will include widening 11.3 kilometres of road between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge from four to six lanes.
"The project will improve road safety and reduce congestion for the more than 80,000 motorists who use the motorway each day," Mr Chester said.
"It will increase capacity and efficiency along this important part of the national road network which is a vital freight route servicing the Port of Brisbane, Trade Coast and Brisbane Airport precinct.
"Ultimately, the upgrade will mean a faster, safer journey to boost freight productivity and improve travel time reliability.
"In what amounts to another major boost for the local economy, around 1000 direct jobs will be supported over the life of the Gateway Upgrade North project, which is expected to be completed in late 2018."
Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the motorway upgrade will meet the future transport needs of a rapidly-growing region.
"Major works include building extra lanes, new interchanges, bridges and an off-road shared pedestrian and cycle path along the length of the project," Mr Bailey said.
"The Nudgee interchange will also be upgraded and the Deagon Deviation between Depot Road and Bracken Ridge Road will be widened to two lanes in each direction."
The Australian Government has committed $929.6 million to the project, in partnership with the Queensland Government which has committed $232.4 million.