Gold Coasters are a step closer to driving on the ‘Second M1’ as the first contract is awarded.
Acciona Construction Australia Pty Ltd and Georgiou Group Pty Ltd Joint Venture, with WSP and BG&E as the designers, will undertake enabling works and finalise the design for Coomera Connector Stage 1 North, between Coomera and Helensvale in readiness for mainline construction works starting in mid-2022.
More than 210,000 vehicles use the M1 around the Coomera River on its busiest days, and a significant portion is a local traffic accessing the Gold Coast’s northern suburbs.
An independent survey of Gold Coast residents and businesses in 2019 has shown overwhelming support for the Coomera Connector, with 80% of people supporting the Coomera Connector being built as soon as possible.
Research into potential routes for the Coomera Connector’s northern section has confirmed the corridor already preserved for the future road as the preferred option.
The route is proposed to cross the Albert River east of Eagleby, connecting to the M1 and Logan Motorway at Loganholme. It was considered in comparison to six other alternative routes by independent traffic planners and environmental specialists.
Funding for “the second M1”, which will support over 700 jobs, is the centrepiece of the Palaszczuk Government’s $830 million Gold Coast roads infrastructure and jobs package that also includes funding to upgrade Exit 45 at Ormeau, the Coomera park ‘n’ ride and the Currumbin Creek Road/Bienvenue Street intersection.
The Australian Government and Queensland Government have committed a total of $1.53 billion (on a 50:50 basis) to plan and construct Coomera Connector Stage 1.
About Coomera Connector (Stage 1)
The Stage 1 section of the Coomera Connector, between Coomera and Nerang, has been identified as the priority section to be built first.
By constructing additional crossings of the Coomera and Nerang rivers, Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector will reduce pressure on the M1 by providing an alternative route for the growing communities and commercial hubs of Helensvale and Coomera.
Following community consultation in 2020, the northern end point for Coomera Connector Stage 1 is now confirmed as Shipper Drive, Coomera.
The corridor is wide enough for an ultimate 6-lane motorway, however, based on transport demand modelling and available construction funding, fewer lanes may be built in some sections to meet medium-term needs.
Coomera Connector Stage 1 is around 16kms, and will be delivered in 3 construction packages:
- Stage 1 North: Shipper drive, Coomera to Helensvale Road, Helensvale – early works construction started with site investigations in 2021 and construction to start mid-2022. Additional early works agreement awarded in November 2021 to finalise the design, establish site compounds and continue service utility investigations.
- Stage 1 Central: Helensvale Road, Helensvale to Smith Street Motorway, Molendinar – early works site investigations started in mid-2021 and construction timing to be confirmed.
- Stage 1 South: Smith Street Motorway, Molendinar to Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Nerang – early works site investigations and construction timing are to be confirmed.
- Relieve pressure on the M1 by providing an alternative route for local traffic and additional crossings of the Logan, Albert, Coomera and Nerang rivers.
- Provide improved connections and accessibility to more transport options on the northern Gold Coast.
- Improve travel time between Brisbane and the Gold Coast by reducing the number of local trips on the M1.
- Increase safety on the M1 by reducing congestion and potential queuing at interchanges.
- Provide more reliable travel times between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
- Mid-2021: Geotechnical investigations have been ongoing throughout Stage 1 North and Stage 1 Central.
- September 2021: Stage 1 Reference design and business case approved by Queensland Government.
- November 2021: Early works agreement awarded for Stage 1 North to complete the detailed design of this section; Competitive Design and Construct tender process started for Stage 1 Central.
- Early to mid-2022: Public Environment Report released for public comment.
- Mid-2022: Main line construction to start on Stage 1 North.
- Late 2022: Preliminary and Detailed Design to start on Stage 1 South.
- Late 2024: Stage 1 is expected to progressively open to traffic in sections.
Coomera Connector (Stage 1) animations
A series of animated concepts for Stage 1 have been developed to show what the Coomera Connector may look like when constructed in the ultimate 6-lane configuration. As the project has progressed through the reference design phase and consultation, some features have changed.
About Coomera Connector
The Coomera Connector (sometimes referred to as the Second M1), is a future state-controlled north-south road corridor between Loganholme and Nerang, east of the Pacific Motorway (M1) and the heavy train line.
The new road will be an alternative to the M1, providing more transport capacity to support the rapidly growing residential and business communities in the northern Gold Coast and neighbouring Logan areas.
The complete gazetted corridor extends for 45km between the Logan Motorway and Pacific Motorway interchange in Loganholme and Nerang–Broadbeach Road in Nerang.
The Coomera Connector will be delivered in sections:
- Southern section – Stage 1 between Coomera and Nerang will be delivered in 3 packages:
- Stage 1 North: Shipper Drive, Coomera to Helensvale Road, Helensvale
- Stage 1 Central: Helensvale Road, Helensvale to Smith Street Motorway, Molendinar
- Stage 1 South: Smith Street Motorway, Molendinar to Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Nerang.
- Northern section – future stages between Loganholme and Coomera.
Since the 1990s, the corridor has been identified in various public planning documents, such as published street directories, regional transport plans, planning studies and City of Gold Coast planning schemes.
A joint 2015 study between TMR and City of Gold Coast confirmed the corridor as a future strategic transport link that will relieve traffic congestion on the M1 and surrounding local roads.
Source: © The State of Queensland (Department of Transport and Main Roads) 2010–2021 (some changes were made)
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