Don't expect roadworks on the M1 Pacific Motorway to be over any time soon
If you live in Brisbane, chances are you’ve been stuck in gridlock on the M1.
- The M1/M3 merge upgrade at Eight Mile Plains is not scheduled to be completed until mid-2020
- Construction will start by mid-next year on the next phase, an 8-kilometre stretch between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill
- Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has urged people to be patient, promising the finished product will be worth it
Every state and federal election, hundreds of millions of dollars in funding is promised to try to ease the congestion.
Currently $2.3 billion has been committed towards fixing the problem-plagued M1 from both the federal and state governments.
But finding a long-term solution has resulted in short-term headaches.
The M1/M3 merge upgrade at Eight Mile Plains on Brisbane’s southside has been under construction since mid-2018 and is not scheduled to be completed until mid-2020.
But just when you thought the roadworks-induced headaches were over, the next phase begins.
Construction is set to start by mid-next year on an 8-kilometre stretch between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill.
This section of the M1 Pacific Motorway is one of the most congested, and according to the data, if nothing is done, it will only get worse.
The section currently carries more than 150,000 vehicles per day and is projected to carry around 202,000 vehicles per day by 2041.
The State Government has unveiled how the phase two $749 million upgrade will look when it is completed by 2024, including widening the Gateway Motorway to Loganlea Road to five northbound lanes.
Rochedale Road to Logan Road will be widened to four southbound lanes.
The improvements will also include a South East Busway Extension from Eight Mile Plains to Springwood, which includes a new bus station and park and ride facility at Rochedale.
The upgrade is also good news for cyclists, with the missing V1 cycleway link of the western side of the M1 from the Gateway Motorway to Paradise Road set to be completed.
New bus terminal at Rochedale
Rochedale South resident Barry Steffens said he had seen plenty of M1 upgrades in his 47 years living in the region.
Barry Steffens says putting a new bus terminal at Rochedale is “fantastic”. (ABC News: Ashleigh Stevenson)
He said he doubted whether the latest works would help make a dent in traffic congestion, but like many locals, welcomed the news of a new bus terminal.
“They’re putting four lanes on the M1, which is all very nice but it’s still two lanes short — it’s not going to help too much,” Mr Steffens said.
“Until we start getting smart, and stop spending money on all this ‘we’ll investigate this, we’ll investigate that’, get to and do it, but I think what they’re doing here putting a new bus terminal in is fantastic.”
Artist’s impression of new Rochedale bus station and busway as part of M1 upgrade. (Supplied: TMR Qld)
Linda Pearson runs a local business and said the roadworks had hurt her bottom line.
“It has impacted on the businesses particularly in this area because of the traffic — there’s been lots of hold-ups so it’s made it a little bit difficult,” Ms Pearson said.
“There’s less foot traffic because it’s too hard to get through because the lights aren’t synced and all that sort of thing, so there’s usually a back-up of traffic during peak hours.
“The M1 did need upgrading, and will need further upgrading, but it has impacted us because a lot of people are finding alternative routes.”
Linda Pearson runs a local business and says the roadworks has hurt her bottom line. (ABC News: Ashleigh Stevenson)
‘One of the major bottlenecks on the M1’
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey urged people to be patient, promising the finished product would be worth it.
“When it comes to upgrading the M1 it’s pedal to the metal,” Mr Bailey said.
“This means more lanes for people coming up to the Gateway merge as they come through Logan.
“It’s dealing with one of the major bottlenecks on the M1 — 150,000 motorists a day will benefit from this project and more going forward.
“There’ll be some continued 80 kilometres per hour zones as we build this next section, so we thank people for their patience but I think they absolutely support us getting this work done.”
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the LNP would build a second M1 to tackle congestion.
“We need to see work on the M1 fast-tracked and it’s the LNP that has a plan to build a second M1,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The people of the Gold Coast want it, the people of Brisbane want it, the commuters that are stuck in traffic want it — the only people that don’t seem to want it is Annastacia Palaszczuk and the state Labor Government.”