Exit plan to bust M1 congestion
Work on a major upgrade of the M1 Exit 41 at Yatala South has started, while residents also get their first look at proposed plans for a redesigned Exit 49 at Pimpama.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said investing in major transport infrastructure was an important part of Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
“Upgrading the M1 is a major priority for my government,” the Premier said.
“That’s why we’ve worked hard to get the Prime Minister to match our funding to get more construction under way.
“This is a great win for Gold Coasters. This upgrade will ease pressure off one of several key bottlenecks on the northern end of the Gold Coast – helping to reduce commute times in the future.
“We’ll continue to invest in infrastructure to create jobs and rebuild our economy.”
Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the upgrade would help people to get home sooner and safer.
“The Morrison Government is getting on with delivering infrastructure projects that improve congestion and safety for commuters across Australia, making it easier for them to move around our capital cities and ensuring they get home quickly and safely,” Minister Fletcher said.
“Under the Urban Congestion Fund, we are delivering 178 individual packages of works nationwide. This project brings to 63 the total number of Urban Congestion Fund projects around Australia that are completed or underway. A further 59 are expected to start construction this year.
“This is just the latest example of us delivering on our commitment to progress critical infrastructure projects across the country under our record $110 billion 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline, which is helping to drive Australia’s world-leading economic recovery.”
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey the upgrades to key exits were part of a record investment into the M1 and Gold Coast transport infrastructure.
“Queensland is investing a record $27.5 billion in roads and transport projects over four years to support our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Mr Bailey said.
“That investment is adding capacity to major roads and building better connections for growing communities to improve safety and ensure people spend less time stuck in traffic
“The job at Exit 41 and the upcoming upgrade at Exit 49 will support another 360 jobs, adding to the pipeline of work being supported on major Gold Coast projects.
“Two M1 upgrades between Brisbane and the Gold Coast were completed in early 2020, and now two much larger upgrades supporting about 1600 jobs are under construction.
“Work will also start this year on Stage 1 of the Second M1 and the next stage of light rail to Burleigh, supporting another 1400 jobs.”
Federal Member for Forde, Bert van Manen MP, said the Exit 41 project was just the first of several M1 interchange upgrades planned to improve safety and reduce congestion.
“We are also planning upgrades for Exit 38 (Yatala North) and Exit 45 (Ormeau), with community consultation for the Exit 45 (Ormeau) safety improvements design and the Exit 49 (Pimpama) upgrade to start soon,” Mr van Manen said.
“By keeping work flowing on projects like these, we continue to invest in the community during this difficult period.
“This investment is estimated to support an average of 179 direct jobs over the life of the project, when creating and maintaining jobs has never been more critical.”
Member for Macalister Melissa McMahon said the Exit 41 upgrade would build a new bridge over the M1, creating additional traffic lanes and better managing traffic flow with new traffic lights.
“Anyone who uses Exit 41 knows how congested it gets during peak times, particularly with commercial vehicles accessing the industrial area to the west of the motorway.
“Having traffic lights to manage traffic flow will improve capacity on on-ramps and off-ramps,” Ms McMahon said.
“TMR has also listened to community feedback and added a left-turn slip lane to the southbound off-ramp to allow traffic access Eastern Service Road without entering the interchange.”
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said it was good news for motorists and tradies in the growing northern Gold Coast area, solving a key bottleneck and creating a pipeline of construction jobs.
“It means from the northern stretches of our city right through to the border, there’s a total of $4.8 billion being invested to build better transport, create jobs and drive our plan for economic recovery,” Ms Scanlon said.
“Many tradies in my community travel to the industrial area here every day, and upgrading the interchange means they’ll be able to get to their next job or home quicker and spend less time on the M1.”
City of Gold Coast Deputy Mayor Donna Gates said the start of works was brilliant news for our northern Gold Coast.
“This exit is critical to our burgeoning Yatala Enterprise Area and will be a welcome improvement for the transport operators there,” the Deputy Mayor said.
“Council is working with State officers to ensure our local road upgrades in that area occur at the same time so the delay and inconvenience during works is only felt once by motorists. The long-term gain will be considerable.”
The Exit 41 project is the first of several M1 interchange upgrades planned to improve safety and reduce congestion, with planning underway to upgrade Exit 38 (Yatala North) and Exit 45 (Ormeau).
Community feedback is being sought on recently release designs for the jointly-funded $110 million Exit 49 (Pimpama) upgrade while consultation will start soon on a plan for safety improvements at Exit 45 (Ormeau).
The Exit 49 Pimpama Interchange upgrade preliminary design includes:
- A new bridge across the M1 with dedicated northeast-bound lanes
- Reconfiguration of the existing bridge to accommodate southwest-bound traffic
- Realignment of the on and off-ramps.
The upgrade will also include pedestrian and bike paths throughout the interchange to provide safe infrastructure for those who choose active travel to visit nearby shops and schools.
The final design is expected to be complete late this year with construction due to start in early next year.
The Australian and Queensland governments have committed $192.6 million towards upgrades of Exit 41 and Exit 49 interchanges, under a 50:50 funding arrangement.
For up-to-date road condition information, call 13 19 40, visit www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au or download the app.
Toby Walker – 0439 347 875