Problem to be addressed
The Varsity Lakes to Tugun section of the corridor currently carries 90,000 vehicles per day, exceeding the design capacity for the four-lane motorway, and is forecast to grow to in excess of 100,000 vehicles by 2026 following the completion of upgrades to the M1 Pacific Motorway in northern NSW, and 120,000 vehicles per day by 2036. The limited capacity of the motorway impacts on the travel times of a variety of road users who rely on the motorway each day, including local residents, long-distance travellers, commercial vehicles, buses, tour operators and international and domestic tourists.
The project would provide additional capacity on the motorway by widening both directions of the road between Varsity Lakes Interchange (Exit 85) and Tugun Interchange (Exit 95) from four lanes to six lanes and upgrading the majority of interchanges. The project also proposes to implement managed motorways technology between Nerang and Tugun, and realign the motorway between Bermuda Street and Tsipura Drive (Burleigh Heads).
Economic, social and environmental value
The additional capacity created by the project would lead to travel time savings for users and reliability improvements. Furthermore, the project has strategic merit given it will improve the reliability and capacity of the National Land Transport Network in South East Queensland, providing improved accessibility for regional traffic and freight. The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 1.67, with a net present value of $419.4 million (7% real discount rate).