Australian Government commits $1bn to M1 Motorway upgrades in South East Queensland

THE Australian Government last week announced a commitment of $1 billion for the construction of two high-priority upgrade projects—one between Varsity Lakes and Tugun on the Gold Coast end of the M1 Corridor, the other between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill within the Brisbane urban area.

The Varsity Lakes to Tugun project is expected to include widening of both the north and southbound carriageways to six lanes, a direct northbound off-ramp from the M1 to Southport—Burleigh Road, ramp upgrades with ramp controls, auxiliary lanes, pavement reconstruction works and better cycling and walking connections between centres.

The Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill project is expected to include widening the motorway from six to eight lanes, ramp consolidation, managed motorways technology, extending the busway to Springwood, supporting bus priority south of Springwood and better active transport connections between centres.

'Brisbane highway by night'
Above: 'Brisbane highway by night' / by Ashraf Saleh.

The funding commitment is based on a 50:50 funding share arrangement with the Queensland Government for both projects.

In a joint statement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister Paul Fletcher said investing in priority upgrades is critical to keep Queensland moving by reducing congestion and supporting future traffic demand.

"The M1 is one of the most important and heavily congested routes in Queensland with nearly 30 million tonnes of freight moving between New South Wales and Queensland each year and between 50,000 and 155,000 vehicles per day using sections of the M1 from Springwood to Tugun," they said.

"The Turnbull Government looks forward to seeing detailed business cases from the Queensland Government provided to Infrastructure Australia, so that we can release this funding and get work underway on the two new projects as soon as possible."

The Australian Government has previously committed funding to two projects on the M1 which are scheduled to commence construction in coming weeks: $115 million for the M1 Pacific Motorway—Gateway Merge and $110 million for the M1 Pacific Motorway—Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes project.

Photo: 'Brisbane highway by night' / M1 Freeway in inner city Brisbane / Ashraf Saleh / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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