Skip links and keyboard navigation

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


As part of the Pacific Motorway (M1) Nerang to Tugun Master Plan, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is working on the design for the future upgrade of the Pacific Motorway (M1) between Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) and Tugun (Exit 95) (VL2T).


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.

$1.03 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

Design is progressing and some 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:

  • Package A Varsity Lakes to Burleigh: construction to begin mid-2020 once the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade is completed
  • Package B Burleigh to Palm Beach: construction to 19th Avenue to begin late 2020 to early 2021
  • Package C Palm Beach to Tugun: construction to begin early to mid-2021
  • Package D Smart motorways technologies retrofitted between Nerang (Exit 73) and Mudgeeraba (Exit 79): construction timeframe yet to be confirmed.

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: TMR completed an options analysis and preliminary evaluation for the Pacific Motorway (M1) Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade
  • Early 2018: TMR partnered with Building Queensland to develop a detailed business case for the project. TMR engage a design consultant to develop the overarching reference design.
  • Late 2018: The completed business case was referred to Infrastructure Australia for assessment.
  • During 2019: Design underway.
  • Early 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 showcasing some key features.
  • Late 2019: Consultation with the community on the section between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh.
  • Early 2020: Consultation with the community on the section between Burleigh and Palm Beach.
  • Early to mid-2020: Consultation with the community on the section between Palm Beach and Tugun.
  • Mid-2020: Construction will start following completion of the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade and will be delivered in packages.

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

Community info

Detailed design investigations for the Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade are currently underway with survey, geotechnical and environmental assessments also being undertaken.

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

The community is invited to provide feedback on the upgrade now and as each design package progresses. Thank you to those who provided feedback in November 2019 on Package A Varsity Lakes to Burleigh. More information will be available on the Burleigh to Palm Beach and Palm Beach to Tugun packages in the first half of 2020.

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



Last updated
22 January 2020