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Pacific Motorway (M1): Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) to Tugun (Exit 95) upgrade


The $1 billion Pacific Motorway Varsity Lakes to Tugun (VL2T) project will upgrade 10 kilometres of the M1 and be constructed in packages to ensure faster delivery and best value for money.


Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) to Tugun (Exit 95).


The upgrade from Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) to Tugun (Exit 95) will provide:

  • additional capacity to meet current and future demands
  • reduce the duration of congestion
  • improve travel time reliability
  • improve access on and off the motorway
  • minimise the potential for traffic crashes on this section of the motorway.

$1 billion has been outlined in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2019-20 to 2022-23 to progress the upgrade to construction, based on joint funding from the Australian and Queensland governments.

South Coast Region

Project info

Key features include:

  • widening 10 kilometres of the M1 from 2 to a minimum of 3 lanes in both directions between Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) and Tugun (Exit 95), with some areas widened to 5 lanes and including improvements to the road alignment.
  • extending to all entry and exit ramps at interchanges, and significant improvements made to:
    • Burleigh Heads (Exit 87)
    • Tallebudgera (Exit 89)
    • Palm Beach (Exit 92)
  • widening the Tallebudgera Creek and Currumbin Creek bridges
  • constructing a new 2-way western service road between Tallebudgera (Exit 89) and Palm Beach (Exit 92) and a new bridge over Tallebudgera Creek connecting the new western service road
  • installing smart motorway technologies to improve travel time between Nerang and Tugun
  • preserving the corridor for a possible future rail extension south of Varsity Lakes
  • installing bike and pedestrian paths to improve active transport connectivity.

The VL2T upgrade is being delivered in a series of packages:

Although the construction commencements are staggered for each package, all 3 motorway widening packages will be under construction at the same time with an estimated completion by end of 2023.


The Australian and Queensland governments are committed to managing the design and construction phases of the VL2T upgrade in a way that supports environmental, social and ecological outcomes through sustainable infrastructure development. 

Sustainable outcomes that the project will focus on include:

  • building a resilient transport system
  • reducing energy and resource use
  • reducing waste
  • improving natural environment outcomes within the project wherever possible
  • considering the motorway’s neighbours. 

As part of TMR’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure development, the VL2T upgrade is working with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) to report on the level of sustainable practice embedded within the project works and is striving for an overall rating of ‘excellent’.

For more information on ISCA visit

Key milestones

  • Late 2017: Options analysis and preliminary evaluation completed for the VL2T upgrade
  • Early 2018: TMR partnered with Building Queensland to develop a detailed business case for the project. A design consultant was appointed to develop the overarching reference design
  • Late 2018: The completed business case was referred to Infrastructure Australia for assessment
  • 2019-2020: Preliminary and detailed design
  • July 2019: Infrastructure Australia endorsed the business case and listed the upgrade as a Priority Project on the Infrastructure Priority List
  • October 2019: Introductory newsletter released showcasing some key features
  • November 2019: Community information sessions held for Varsity Lakes to Burleigh (Package A)
  • 5-7 and 12-14 March 2020: Community information sessions held for Burleigh to Palm Beach (Package B) and Palm Beach to Tugun (Package C)
  • 2020: Design complete on all three motorway widening packages – A, B and C
  • May 2020: Construction started on Varsity Lakes to Burleigh (Package A) 
  • Late 2020: Construction expected to start on Burleigh to Palm Beach (Package B) and possibly Palm Beach to Tugun (Package C)
  • 2021: Motorway widening on all 3 packages will be underway across the 10-km route
  • Late 2022: Package A construction expected to be complete
  • Late 2023: Motorway widening across the 10-km route expected to be complete

Contact details

Phone: 1800 799 824 (during business hours, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday)
Fax: 07 5563 6611
Post: Department of Transport and Main Roads
PO Box 442
Nerang Qld 4211

Interpreter and accessibility services

Community info

Construction on Package A is now underway, and the procurement process for a construction contractor on Package B is about to commence. Some design elements on Package C are still underway.  

Thank you to everyone who attended community information sessions in November 2019 and March 2020. Your feedback has been valuable.

View the project newsletter and the frequently asked questions (FAQ) for more information about the upgrade.

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 Transport and Main Roads on the above contact details.

Media gallery



Find more details on specific topics:

Drive-through each package of the VL2T upgrade:

Package A Varsity Lakes to Burleigh


Show/hide video description

Package B Burleigh to Palm Beach

Package C Palm Beach to Tugun

Review package features further:

Latest news

Construction contract awarded for Package A

A construction contract has now been awarded to Seymour Whyte Constructions (SWC) to start Package A motorway widening works.

SWC plans to start on-site activities towards the end of April/early May 2020.

Last updated
17 June 2020