First sod turned on Queensland’s biggest road project
The first sod has been turned on a Queensland highway project expected to remove 60,000 daily trips from the fragile commuter link between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The Coomera Connector or “Second M1” is the state’s biggest single road build, with experts estimating it will take more than a thousand workers to construct at a cost of $2.16 billion.
The 16-kilometre first stage will link Shipper Drive at Coomera with Helensvale, the only destination on the Gold Coast where trams, trains and buses interconnect.
Early works to prepare for the construction have been ongoing since November 2021.
The project will mean more reliable travel times between Brisbane and the Gold Coast by alleviating congestion on the Pacific Motorway.
It will open progressively from 2025, with the federal and Queensland governments each committing $1.08 billion to the plan and build stage one.
In the heart of one of the fastest growing regions in the country, the new road will get Queenslanders home safer and sooner, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at Sunday’s launch.
“This is a critical infrastructure project for the South East as the population of the Gold Coast continues to grow.
“Our government’s support of the Coomera Connector is backing 1000 local jobs and a strong pipeline of investment in the region for years to come.”
Federal Transport Minister Catherine King acknowledged congestion had been a significant issue for the region.
“It’s a drain on the economy and frustrating for families, which is why we’re getting on with delivering this critical piece of infrastructure,” she said.
“With major construction now underway, works will continue to ramp up over the coming months as this new motorway starts to come to life.”
The project’s Public Environment Report sets out measures to reduce and mitigate its impact on the environment, including offsetting and enhancing koala habitats at nearby properties in Pimpama and Tabooba.
A new, kilometre-long, Coomera River bridge crossing is a key feature of the first package, along with a four-metre-wide shared active transport path.AAP