The congestion-busting, $195.3 million upgrade of the M1/M3 Gateway Merge at Eight Mile Plains will be completed ahead of schedule, as another large-scale upgrade begins on the M1.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said works were on track to wrap up in the coming days, marking an important milestone.
“The highway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast is usually one of the busiest stretches of road in Australia and building a better M1 is a priority,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I’m proud that with the Federal Government we’ve successfully delivered a much-needed upgrade at the Gateway Merge, which as anyone knows who drives through there every day was badly needed.”
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the game-changing piece of infrastructure was finished ahead of time.
“The upgrade will bust congestion along the Gateway Motorway to Rochedale Road, helping with freight movement along the M1 corridor and improve travel time, reliability and safety,” Mr Tudge said.
“The Morrison Government’s commitments along the M1 will support thousands of jobs in the construction industry at a time when long-term stability and security is needed as we continue to see upgrades to the M1 roll out from Brisbane to the New South Wales border.
“It’s part of our $100 billion infrastructure pipeline that is just as important now, as ever.”
The Australian Government committed $115 million towards the upgrade that supported 131 jobs over the life of the project.
Following the completion of the M1/M3 Gateway merge, preliminary works have now begun on the next stage of the M1 North upgrade’s $749 million Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill (EMP2DH) project.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the job-boosting progress being made was a reflection of the Queensland Government’s commitment to building a better M1.
“We want to assure Queenslanders that despite our focus on managing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re progressing critical road infrastructure projects like these across the state,” Mr Bailey said.
“The construction industry plays an essential role in keeping the state’s economy powering so we can’t lose momentum delivering our record investment in major infrastructure for Queensland.
“Our government’s partnership with the Australian Government has delivered the biggest program of upgrades to the M1 since the highway was first built.
“Upgrades in this scale require significant planning and preparation and of course interrupt traffic during construction, so it is particularly pleasing to announce that we have successfully delivered the first of these M1 upgrades ahead of schedule.”
Federal Member for Forde Bert van Manen said early works had already started on the next M1 upgrade between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill, which has received a commitment of $375 million from the Australian Government.
“The Sports Drive to Gateway Motorway project is the first package of work within the broader eight-kilometre Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill upgrade, which will see reduced congestion and improved travel times for commuters on this stretch of the M1 Pacific Motorway,” Mr van Manen said.
State Member for Springwood Mick de Brenni welcomed the news that commuters would be able to get home to their families sooner thanks to the hard work of local tradies.
“My wife and I grew up watching the South East Freeway being built in the eighties,” Mr de Brenni said. “We remember riding push bikes along it when it was just a dirt track.”
“To see my commitment to deliver a better M1 being delivered, and ahead of schedule, supporting jobs, is personally satisfying.
“I’ve done the commute along the M1 to Springwood my entire working life and know exactly what getting this job done means to locals.”
Bielby Holdings has been awarded the first package of work on the Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hillupgrade, which will stretch about 3.5 kilometres from Sports Drive, Underwood, to the Gateway Motorway interchange.
Bielby Holdings managing director Adam Edwards said they were delighted to secure the Sports Drive to Gateway Motorway package of work.
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, as we build a vital piece of infrastructure for South-East Queensland,” Mr Edwards said.
The Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill upgrade is set to create more than 720 jobs.
Further south, the Pacific Motorway (M1) upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun is now also a step closer to construction.
The contract to upgrade the first section between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh has been awarded to Seymour Whyte Constructions, which will support almost 850 jobs.
Works are due to start on the $1.03 billion M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade in mid-2020, after the current upgrade between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes is completed.