QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has promised to fix the problem-plagued M1 on the southern Gold Coast, announcing plans to widen the motorway to six lanes if re-elected on November 25.
Ms Palaszczuk said she would commit $206 million to help fund the crucial upgrade, which would see the clogged arterial extended from four lanes to six between Varsity Lakes and Tugun.
The upgrade would make the M1 at least six lanes wide along its entire length from Brisbane to the NSW border.
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The Premier says she’ll also spend a further $25 million to upgrade the Exit 57 interchange at Oxenford.
Today’s promise from Labor comes after the LNP yesterday announced plans to build a second four-lane highway to take the pressure off the problem-plagued M1.
The proposed road would start at Stapylton and run behind Pimpama and Coomera before connecting with the existing rail corridor behind dreamworld and following it through Helensvale, behind Westfield, and into Nerang.
The highway would connect Stapylton-Jacobs Well Road in the north with Nerang-Broadbeach Road in the south.
The LNP says the four-lane thoroughfare would cost $500 million and will get residents home “safer and sooner”.
Labor, however, says it’s a “road to nowhere” and will cost well over $2 billion.
Ms Palaszczuk said it was crucial to widen the southern 10km stretch of the M1 to three lanes in both directions.
“We will continue to invest in the M1 because this is real action that will benefit motorists,” the Premier said.
“This is not under-funding of the LNP’s ‘Road to Nowhere’ as promised by a mathematically inept Tim Nicholls.
“We have already taken action and more is needed now, on the M1, not on some fanciful project that would cost taxpayers nearly five times the $500 million that Mr Nicholls claimed.
“The LNP needs to tell Queenslanders how they would fund this project and what assets they would need to sell.”
The LNP’s controversial proposal triggered an avalanche of comments from hundreds of frustrated residents online.
SECOND M1: The LNP has revealed plans to build a second $500m highway on the Gold Coast (yellow) to take the pressure…
Ms Palaszczuk said with the Commonwealth Government’s assistance, the Varsity-Tugun Lakes project could begin straight after the 2020 completion of the Mudgeeraba-Varsity Lakes upgrade.
Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to easing the pressure on the M1 had already begun.
“Early works on two significant upgrades on the M1 are already underway – duplicating the southbound lanes at the M1-M3 merge at Eight Mile Plains and upgrade to the section of the M1 between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes to six-lanes,’’ Mr Bailey said.
“We’ve also delivered the $74.4 million upgrade of the Exit 54 Coomera upgrade.
“These projects represent more than $400 million invested in the M1.”