Work starts on vital M1 upgrade as curtain falls on Commonwealth Games

WITH the Commonwealth Games now over, work has finally begun on upgrading the Gold Coast’s M1.

From today, heavy construction will begin to widen the problem-plagued motorway between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes, and the Gateway Merge to Springwood.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said the congestion-busting upgrades would provide much-needed additional capacity on what is one of Australia’s busiest roads.


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“These vital upgrades to the M1 will reduce congestion and improve the quality of life for people in SEQ, getting them home sooner and safer instead of being stuck in traffic,” Mr Fletcher said.

“These upgrades will also deliver major economic benefits and are expected to support up to 450 jobs.”

Queensland Minister for Transport Mark Bailey said development in Logan and on the Gold Coast over the past 10 years had seen an increase in the number of residents travelling to and from Brisbane.

‘‘This increase has resulted in the Gateway merge section of the Pacific Motorway southbound reaching its operational capacity each afternoon,’’ he said.

“The additional southbound lanes on the Pacific Motorway along with the reconfiguration of the bus entry at Eight Mile Plains bus station will help ease congestion.’’

The upgrades are jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments.

Federal Member for Forde Bert van Manen MP said it was great to see the Prime Minister’s $225 million election promise finally coming to fruition.

“It’s great to see this Turnbull Government election commitment to spend $225 million fixing the M1 getting underway,” Mr van Manen said.

“These vital upgrades to the M1 will reduce congestion and improve the quality of life for people in my electorate of Forde who use this road every day, as well as supporting up to 450 jobs.”

Prime Minister Turnbull last week promised to spend another $1 billion to continue fixing the M1.

“This $1 billion commitment will fund construction of further vital upgrades – one between Varsity Lakes and Tugun on the Gold Coast end of the M1 Corridor and the other between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill within the Brisbane urban area,” Mr van Manen said.

“Only the Turnbull Government is committed to fixing the M1, getting people in Forde home sooner and safer instead of being stuck in traffic.”

Cities Minister Mr Fletcher said the Turnbull Government was able to fund the vital upgrades because of its careful budget management.

“The work that is getting underway today is thanks to the strong advocacy of local Liberal National MPs like Bert van Manen who have fought long and hard for the M1 to be fixed,” Mr Fletcher said.

“We now hope the Palaszczuk Labor Government will stop playing politics and come to the table to help deliver these vital upgrades that Queensland motorists need and deserve.”

Speed limits will be reduced during construction at both sites.

Work is expected to be completed in 2020.

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Why not duplicate the highway over the top of itself, similar to what America does with its 3/4/5+ layered highways? You could run a raised duplicate over the top from South Brisbane to the southern part of the Gold Coast, and you wouldn’t need to buy more land.

I wouldn’t have a clue what something like this would cost, and I’m certainly no engineer, so I don’t know the technicalities behind such a proposal… But if such a concept was safe to do, it’d effectively double the capacity of the M1 because you’d have a second “M1” running over the top.

The other obvious alternative would be a tunnel version of the same thing… Maybe that would be a better option?

Either way, it’d buy the Gold Coast at least another 25 years or so before needing to build another (completely new) highway…