Infrastructure Australia endorses Government's Bruce Highway and M1 Pacific Motorway investment priorities

The next priorities for billions of dollars in investment in Queensland road upgrades have been endorsed by Infrastructure Australia (IA) with three nationally significant Federal Liberal and Nationals Government-funded projects worth more than $2 billion being added to its pipeline of priority upgrades.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack welcomed the favourable business case assessments from the nation’s independent infrastructure advisory body.

“The Infrastructure Priority List will now include the Bruce Highway – Edmonton to Gordonvale project, and the M1 Pacific Motorway - Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill and Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrades, as priority projects,” Mr McCormack said.

“These major projects have now passed IA’s rigorous business case assessment, confirming their many potential benefits for Queenslanders in terms of busting congestion and delivering safer roads.

“In line with IA’s assessment, we are backing the Cairns region by investing in a four-lane upgrade to the Bruce Highway and service roads between Edmonton and Gordonvale which will bust congestion, reduce local trips taken on the Bruce Highway and tackle the section’s high crash rate of almost double the state average for similar roads.

“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has committed up to $384.8 million to this important project, and we are working closely with the Queensland Government to ensure that our combined investment will deliver on the project’s key objectives of improving safety and access.”

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said upgrading the M1 Pacific Motorway between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill would reduce congestion at one of the busiest parts of the motorway by widening an 8.5-kilometre northbound section and improving local busways.

“This will accommodate 25 per cent more traffic and relieve congestion for decades to come,” Mr Tudge said.

“Meanwhile, the upgrade of the M1 Pacific Motorway between Varsity Lakes and Tugun will bust congestion by widening both sides of the motorway that connects northern New South Wales and the Gold Coast which will support the Gold Coast’s economic development by making travel easier for workers, tourism operators and visitors to the area.

“The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has a total of $1 billion on the table to fund these two priority upgrades on the M1. It is pleasing to receive IA’s endorsement for these investments, which will make life easier and safer for Queenslanders going about their day-to-day lives.

“I look forward to working with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Queensland Government to progress these and other future infrastructure priorities.”

These new projects along the M1 Pacific Motorway are exepcted to commence construction in mid-2020 following the completion of the M1/M3 Pacific Motorway – Gateway Motorway merge project and the upgrade between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes. Pending formal project approval initial work on the Bruce Highway project between Edmonton and Gordonvale is expected to get underway in early 2020 and take around three and a half years to complete.

The updated Infrastructure Priority List is available at www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.