Meetings have been taking place between minsters of the Commonwealth and Queensland governments to discuss progress on the proposals for upgrading the motorway.
The Queensland Department of Transport & Main Roads is shortly to begin the expression of interest process for the design and construction of the upgrade of the Pacific Motorway M1/M3/Gateway Merge at Eight Mile Plains. The Gateway Merge will tackle one of the state’s most problematic bottlenecks — more than 148,000 vehicles travel through this congested section each day, including 12,000 heavy vehicles.
Preparations will also now begin to engage a design consultant for the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes project. The 5km widening will modernise the motorway to reduce the number and severity of motor vehicle incidents, help freight businesses operate more efficiently and above all cut travel times for commuters.
The idea is that this work will offer a clear idea of firm market-based construction costs. If these costings turn out to be lower than estimates in the business case – something which is currently quite common there due to highly competitive conditions in the construction sector – that would make the collective task of funding the upgrades a little easier.
Both governments have reserved their position on the funding split. Discussions around delivery of the two upgrades will progress based on the outcomes of each procurement process.