THE Australian and Queensland governments last week announced a roads package worth more than half a billion dollars for five projects, including six-laning of the Pacific Motorway (M1) between Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes and construction of the Walkerston bypass near Mackay.
The other projects include a major upgrade of the M1/Gateway Motorway merge (southbound lanes) at Eight Mile Plains, widening of the Mt Lindesay Highway between Browns Plains and Beaudesert, and funding for the planning of the M1—Varsity Lakes to Tugun.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said they were pleased to have reached agreement on the five important projects.
"Although final project costs for the M1 will not be known until the end of April, we have reached an agreement that the Australian Government will keep our money on the table with the State picking up the balance," Mr Chester said.
"The tender processes are expected to bring the cost down, so the final splits will not be known until then. The important thing is we have broken the impasse and will work together to deliver these important projects."
Queensland Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said early works on the M1 Gateway Merge project are expected to commence in November 2017 with major construction to begin following the Commonwealth Games.
"The M1—Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes project is anticipated to commence early works mid-2017 with major construction also to follow the Commonwealth Games," Mr Bailey said.
"Construction for the $150 million Walkerston Bypass will begin following completion of the Mackay Ring Road Stage 1 project, extending the pipeline of local jobs in the Mackay region.
"The Queensland Government is also investing $5 million to progress the planning and business case development for the six-laning of the Pacific Motorway between Varsity Lakes and Tugun—the next highest priority upgrade on the southern end of motorway."