Major construction is underway on the 16-kilometre Coomera Connector Stage 1, creating a ‘second M1’ to remove up to 60,000 local trips a day from the M1 Pacific Motorway, south of Brisbane.
The first sod was turned yesterday, marking the start of main construction on Stage 1 North, between Shipper Drive, Coomera and Helensvale Road, Helensvale.
Early works to prepare for construction have been ongoing since November 2021.
This announcement comes as the Australian Government approved the project’s Public Environment Report (PER), giving the green light for the project to progress to major construction.
The report sets out measures to reduce and mitigate the project’s impact on the environment, including offsetting and enhancing koala habitats at nearby properties in Pimpama and Tabooba.
“This is a critical infrastructure project for the South East as the population of the Gold Coast continues to grow,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Our government’s support of the Coomera Connector is backing 1,000 local jobs, and a strong pipeline of investment in the region for years to come.
“As one of the fastest growing regions in the country, this vital road project will get Queenslanders home safer and sooner than ever before.
“This investment is on top of the more than $5.5 billion we’ve already jointly invested upgrading the M1 since 2015.”
The Coomera Connector will change how Gold Coast residents get around and improve journeys between the growing Coomera and Nerang communities.
It will also mean more reliable travel times between Brisbane and the Gold Coast by alleviating congestion on the M1.
A new, 1-kilometre-long, Coomera River bridge crossing is a key feature of the first package, along with a four-metre-wide shared active transport path.
The first stage of the project will be delivered in three construction packages:
- Stage 1 North: Shipper Drive, Coomera to Helensvale Road, Helensvale (now underway)
- Stage 1 Central: Helensvale Road, Helensvale to Smith Street Motorway, Molendinar (expected to start later this year)
- Stage 1 South: Smith Street Motorway, Molendinar to Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Nerang (in design).
The final design for Stage 1 North includes improvements made by contractor Acciona Georgiou Joint Venture (AGJV), such as to the location of the shared path’s rest area and upgrades to surrounding local roads at the interchanges.
Construction notices will be distributed as the project progresses, giving residents, motorists, and boaties more detail on how and where work will be carried out.
The Second M1 will open progressively from 2025.
The Australian and Queensland governments have each committed $1.08 billion to the $2.16 billion to plan and build Coomera Connector Stage 1 between Coomera and Nerang.