Skip links and keyboard navigation

Pacific Motorway M1 Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade


The Pacific Motorway (M1) upgrade between Mudgeeraba (Exit 79) and Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) will provide additional capacity to meet current and future traffic demands.

On average, the 4-lane section of the motorway between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes carries more than 80,000 vehicles per day, a volume which exceeds practical capacity. Traffic on this section of the M1 is growing and expected to exceed 120,000 vehicles per day by 2026.


Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes.




The upgrade between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes will reduce travel time and congestion, improve safety, and increase traffic flow. Interchange enhancements will improve access on and off the motorway.


The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments with the Australian Government providing $110 million and the Queensland Government providing the remaining costs of the project.

$197.5 million has been outlined in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2018-19 to 2021-22.

South Coast Region

Project info

On Friday 24 March 2017, the Australian and Queensland governments announced the M1 Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade was being funded as part of a joint $500 million package of 5 road upgrades for Queensland. 

The upgrade of the Pacific Motorway from Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes includes:

  • widening a 5.7km section of the motorway to:
    • 3 lanes in each direction between Mudgeeraba (Exit 79) and Varsity Lakes (Exit 85)
    • 4 lanes northbound between Robina (Exit 82) and The Link Way (Exit 80)
  • extending entry ramps and exit ramps to meet current design standards
  • reconstructing the Mudgeeraba Creek and Mudgeeraba Creek overflow bridges on the northbound side to better withstand flood events
  • removing the right turn movement from The Link Way off-ramp (Exit 80) to The Link Way northbound to improve safety
  • constructing a new bridge for Stapley Drive
  • combining the southbound exit ramps to Stapley Drive and Reedy Creek Road
  • making provision for a future smart motorway system.

Fly-through video

Stapley Drive timelapse video

Key milestones

  • Late 2016: Transport and Main Roads engages a design consultant to assist progressing preliminary and detailed design into the construction phase
  • During 2017: Design development gets underway with early construction contractor involvement through an Early Tenderer Involvement (ETI) process
  • August 2017: Early works begin to install CCTV cameras at the Mudgeeraba, Robina and Varsity Lakes interchanges, install a variable message sign (VMS) northbound at Reedy Creek and relocate public utilities 
  • Late 2017/Early 2018: Main construction contract is awarded and heavy on-road construction started in April 2018 after the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
  • February 2018: Early works package completed
  • Mid-2020: Construction expected to finish (subject to weather, site and contractor conditions).

Traffic info

Traffic changes still in effect include:

  • The Link Way (Exit 80): temporary closure of The Link Way off-ramp at Mudgeeraba until approx. August 2019. This closure is to construct a new off-ramp and raise the northbound carriageway across Mudgeeraba Creek. Motorists can use the northbound off-ramp at Mudgeeraba Interchange (Exit 79).
  • Varsity Lakes (Exit 84): the southbound off-ramp at Exit 84 is closed for approx. 12 months to construct a new off-ramp and lower the southbound carriageway. Stapley Drive bridge will remain open during the ramp closure. Motorists can use the Reedy Creek (Exit 85) southbound off-ramp as an alternative route.
  • Permanent closure of the northbound M1 entry and exit ramps at the Reedy Creek North Caltex/McDonald’s site as a new and longer on-ramp will be constructed at Varsity Lakes (Exit 84) and an extended off-ramp at Robina (Exit 82). Access to the site from the M1 is now from Reedy Creek (Exit 85) via Old Coach Road and Gemvale Road.

Community info

Road traffic noise mitigation

For information on how TMR manages road traffic noise, view the Frequently Asked Questions. For more information on noise mitigation measures as part of the upgrade, contact the project team.

Keep up-to-date

Residents and motorists are encouraged to subscribe to the free email and SMS traffic alert update service for this project. Register with the Transport and Main Roads through the contact details.

Contact details

Phone: 1800 571 817
Fax: 07 5563 6611

Latest news

Traffic changes at Varsity Lakes Interchange (Exit 85) from mid-April 2019

From mid-April 2019, the alignment of the southbound motorway lanes near Varsity Lakes will temporarily change to enable road upgrade works to occur along the existing southbound alignment.

During these changes:

  • both lanes of the new Varsity Lakes Interchange (Exit 85) southbound off-ramp will open to traffic in a temporary configuration
  • all southbound motorway traffic will travel along these 2 lanes.

Motorists continuing southbound will re-join the existing alignment of the motorway via a new temporary section of road located near the Reedy Creek Road northbound flyover.

Motorists exiting to Varsity Lakes or Burleigh Heads must be in the left-lane only to exit to Scottsdale Drive and Stapley Drive, or Reedy Creek Road.

This temporary traffic arrangement will be in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for around 8 months, conditions permitting.

These latest changes come after the existing M1 southbound Reedy Creek (Exit 85) was replaced by 1 lane of the new Varsity Lakes Interchange (Exit 85) southbound off-ramp in mid-March 2019.

Traffic changes at new Varsity Lakes Interchange (Exit 85) from mid-April 2019.
Traffic changes at new Varsity Lakes Interchange (Exit 85) from mid-April 2019.

The Link Way at Mudgeeraba

Widening works on the northbound carriageway will soon start between The Link Way (Exit 80) and Mudgeeraba Interchange (Exit 79). This area is very constrained and has limited space for heavy construction machinery. Due to this, temporary traffic changes are required along The Link Way, including:

  • removing the dedicated right-hand turning lanes and traffic islands on the northern stretch of The Link Way at the Swan Lane and shopping precinct intersection
  • installing new line-marking to provide 1 lane of traffic in each direction
  • reducing the speed limit through this section of The Link Way to 40km/h.
  • These changed traffic conditions will be in place until mid-2019.

Work to begin making these changes will start on Monday 18 February 2019 and take up to 2 weeks to implement. These establishment works will be done at night between 6pm and 6am Sundays to Thursdays. Day works, behind barriers, will also continue in this area from 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

The Link Way: map

Mudgeeraba Creek floodplain

The existing northbound bridges over Mudgeeraba Creek and the floodplain are being removed and rebuilt to better withstand flood events. 

From mid-January 2019, for approximately 8 weeks, a lane closure will be in place between 8pm and 11pm on the M1 northbound between Robina (Exit 82) and The Link Way (Exit 80) for piling works.

During this time, the motorway will be closed for up 5 minutes at a time while the concrete piles, closest to the motorway, are lifted and placed into position. 

Night works and lane closures are necessary for the safety of workers and road users for the set of piles immediately next to the traffic lanes and in close proximity to existing southbound bridges.

A reduced speed of 40km/h will be in place on the northbound lanes within the section over the Mudgeeraba Creek floodplain.

The piling work is required to build a solid foundation for two new bridges on the northbound alignment to better withstand flood events.

Last updated
12 April 2019