Gold Coasters have been given their first look at plans for the city’s $1 billion M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade, with shovels ready to hit the ground next year.

Federal Member for McPherson Karen Andrews said the vital piece of infrastructure will bust congestion and better connect communities in the region.

“I’m not interested in just pushing the bottleneck further south, we need to fix the M1 all the way through to Tugun, and that’s what we’re doing,” Ms Andrews said.

“Just last week, the Morrison Government announced $45 million of Federal funding will be brought forward to fast-track those works,” she added.

It’s expected the upgrade will create more than 800 jobs and be five times the size of the current M1 upgrade at Mudgeeraba.

It will feature the region’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange, as well as more lanes for the 10km stretch, plus upgrades to the Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera and Palm Beach exits. 

“These major upgrades are set to begin as soon as the widening works from Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes are complete, and it’s exciting to see the new northbound lanes between Mudgeeraba and Robina are now open to traffic.

“I thank Gold Coast drivers for their patience during the construction phase, as our short-term pain becomes long-term gain.”

The upgrade will also include: 

• Building a new service road bridge over Tallebudgera Creek connecting a new western service road (one lane each way) between Palm Beach (Exit 92) and Tallebudgera (Exit 89)
• Installing Smart Motorway technologies between Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) and Tugun (Exit 95), and retrofitting these technologies between Nerang and Mudgeeraba
• Preserving the corridor for a future rail extension south of Varsity Lakes.
• Significant environmental improvements will also feature in the upgrade, including a passage under the motorway to reconnect fauna to the Burleigh to Springbrook bioregional wildlife corridor, improved fish passage in waterways and through culverts, fauna fencing, and koala habitat and fodder tree plantings.

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