Coomera Connector

The Coomera Connector (sometimes referred to as the Second M1), is a future state-controlled north-south corridor between Loganholme and Nerang, east of the Pacific Motorway (M1).

The Coomera Connector corridor is wide enough for up to 6 traffic lanes and will include provision for public transport and a shared path for walking and bike riding. It will provide more transport capacity to support the rapidly growing residential and business communities in the northern Gold Coast and neighbouring Logan.

The complete gazetted corridor extends for 45km between the Logan Motorway and Pacific Motorway interchange at Loganholme and Nerang–Broadbeach Road in Nerang. The gazetted Coomera Connector corridor also includes provision for a local road connection from the Coomera Connector at Eagleby to the intersection of Beenleigh–Redland Bay Road and Mount Cotton Road, at Carbrook.

Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector has been identified as the southern section between Coomera and Nerang. A reference design and business case for Stage 1 are due to be completed for government consideration in mid-2021. Construction is expected to commence on Stage 1 in mid-2021.

The northern section between Loganholme and Coomera will be progressed as future stages from 2026.

Benefits

  • Improves safety
  • Increases capacity
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Increases traffic flow
  • Reduces peak hour congestion
  • Reduces interchange queuing
  • Reduces travel time
  • Contributes to economy
  • Better active transport

Key features

The project will: 

  • 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. 

Funding

$30.5 million committed by the Australian and Queensland governments to undertake transport planning studies for the Loganholme to Nerang corridor and a business case for Stage 1.

The Queensland Government and Australian Government have committed a total of $1.53 billion (on a 50:50 basis) to plan and construct Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector (Second M1) between Coomera and Nerang.

Total investment
$1.53 billion
Australian Government
$765.25 million
Queensland Government
$765.25 million

Coomera Connector

Video Transcript

The M1 is a key part of Australia’s national land transport network.

Rapidly expanding residential and industrial communities and high levels of projected population growth between Brisbane and the Gold Coast are contributing to the increasing congestion on the M1.

The Queensland Government is planning a new transport corridor that will take pressure off the M1, increasing safety for all road users.

Starting in the south at Nerang Broadbeach Road at Nerang, the new Coomera Connector corridor will be located to the east of the M1 and will travel through the busy growth centre of Coomera and connect with the Logan and Pacific Motorway interchanges.

The corridor will be wide enough for up to 6 lanes of traffic and will include provision for public transport, cyclists and pedestrians.

While still in the early planning phase at present, the Coomera Connector is one of a number of options being considered to address congestion issues on the M1.

The Coomera Connector is expected to play a complementary role to the M1, cutting travel time between Brisbane and the Gold Coast by reducing the number of trips taken on the M1, while also improving connections and providing more transport options for communities in the growing northern Gold Coast corridor.

To find out more about the Coomera Connector, visit tmr.qld.gov.au/coomeraconnector

Stage 1: Coomera to Nerang 

The southern section of Coomera Connector between Coomera and Nerang has been identified as the priority section that will be built first. More than 210,000 vehicles now regularly use the M1 south of the Coomera River, including 75% of vehicles that enter the M1 at Pimpama (Exit 49) and Coomera (Exit 54) and then exit the motorway at, or before Smith Street (Exit 66).

Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector (Second M1) will provide an additional crossing of the Coomera and Nerang Rivers, securing its future as a key new route. 

Community consultation

Initial community consultation on the Coomera Connector was undertaken in late-2019.

The consultation program included a series of 10 community drop-in sessions along the 45km project corridor, plus online engagement activities.

There was significant interest from the community with 3,200 visits to the website, more than 2,000 people visiting the community drop-in sessions to talk to the project team, and 700 pieces of feedback received.

A telephone survey of 1,000 residents and businesses revealed 4 out of 5 people in the project corridor area support the introduction of the Coomera Connector.

View the Coomera Connector community consultation summary report (PDF, 1.47 MB).

A second round of community consultation on the Coomera Connector (Second M1) was undertaken between 11 September 2020 and 11 October 2020. This consultation gave the community the opportunity to have their say on key aspects of the project such as urban design.

Find out more about community consultation for the Coomera Connector.

Coomera Connector Stage 1 animated concepts

A series of animated concepts for Stage 1 have been developed to show what the Coomera Connector may look like when constructed.

Coomera Connector animated concept Coomera

Concept video showing what the planned Coomera Connector road may look like when constructed in the vicinity of the Coomera River, including an overpass at Hope Island Road.

Coomera Connector animated concept Helensvale

Concept video showing what the planned Coomera Connector road may look like when constructed in the vicinity of the Helensvale including how the new road is positioned in relation to the Helensvale transit hub.

Coomera Connector animated concept Parkwood

Concept video showing what the planned Coomera Connector road may look like when constructed in the vicinity of the Parkwood, including an overpass at the Smith Street Motorway near the Parkwood light rail station.

Coomera Connector animated concept Nerang

Concept video showing what the planned Coomera Connector road may look like when constructed at Nerang, including a new bridge over the Nerang River.

Survey works

To inform the reference design and business case for Stage 1, survey works are currently being conducted throughout the Stage 1 Coomera Connector corridor (between Coomera and Nerang). Geotechnical investigations are being undertaken in the Coomera River and Saltwater Creek at Helensvale. Investigations will also be undertaken on land in the surrounding areas, to the north and south of the river and south of Saltwater Creek from October to December 2020.  Results of the investigations will inform the detailed design and construction of the new bridge over the Coomera River and Saltwater Creek as part of the first stage of the Coomera Connector. 

Koala movement pathway monitoring

Recognising the significance of koala populations in the northern Gold Coast, we engaged Professor Darryl Jones and the team from Griffith University to undertake monitoring of koala movement pathways near Coombabah Creek at Helensvale.

Cameras, spotlighting surveys and scat sampling were used to detect all vertebrate species larger than a squirrel glider. A broad range of species were detected confirming the area as a key regional biodiversity corridor, including the Eastern Grey kangaroo, Swamp and Red-necked wallabies, common brushtail possums, squirrel gliders, reptiles, amphibians, birds and microbats.

Recommendations from the study will feed into the reference design for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector including the provision of structures to provide dry and safe walkways for koalas to cross under transport infrastructure in times of heavy rain when water can inundate the area.

To minimise potential vehicle strike risk of animals such as the Eastern grey kangaroo, Griffith University has recommended that appropriate exclusion fencing and escape ramps be included in the design of the Coomera Connector near Coombabah Creek.

Griffith University's early recommendations are currently being backed up by additional field work to align with the peak koala dispersal period.

Koala management plan

As part of the extensive planning for the Coomera Connector project, we are working in partnership with koala conservation specialists and community environmental stakeholders to develop a koala management plan and environmental management plans to manage impacts on wildlife habitat in and around the project corridor. This includes extensive wildlife surveys to confirm existing wildlife movement corridors and the inclusion of wildlife movement structures and exclusion fencing in the design. To ensure that impacts to habitat are addressed, the plan will also include the acquisition and rehabilitation of additional land in the local area to support local wildlife populations and to replace areas of habitat lost for the Coomera Connector.

Environmental approvals

Environmental approvals are being progressed with the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment currently assessing Stage 1 of the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). The EPBC referral includes results of more than 18 months of terrestrial and aquatic ecological surveys in the Coomera Connector corridor.

On 14 August 2020, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment determined Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector would be a controlled action and the assessment approach would be by public environment report.

For further information, visit the EPBC referrals page on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.

Future stages: Loganholme to Coomera

The northern section between Loganholme and Coomera will be progressed as future stages from 2026.

Based on community feedback, TMR is undertaking an assessment of six alternative alignments for the Coomera Connector in the vicinity of Eagleby.

Once the assessment is complete, consultation will be undertaken with the community on the outcomes of the assessment.

Background

The Coomera Connector (formerly known as the Intra Regional Transport Corridor) will be a key link in an expanded road transport network between Loganholme and the Gold Coast where residential and business communities are growing rapidly.

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 the City of Gold Coast confirmed the corridor is a future strategic transport link that will relieve traffic congestion on the M1 and surrounding local roads.

The Coomera Connector was formally declared a future state-controlled road, confirmed in the Queensland Government Gazette in 3 sections:

  • The Nerang to Coomera section on 18 March 2016.
  • The Coomera to Stapylton section on 12 May 2017.
  • The Stapylton to Loganholme section 15 March 2019.

Formal confirmation of the corridor in the Queensland Government Gazette allows the corridor to be protected from new development and provides certainty for property owners, business and residential communities on the northern Gold Coast.

All property owners directly impacted by the gazettal of the corridor were advised during the planning stage. Our team continues to liaise with property owners when dealing with land sales and development applications. Early acquisition of properties by TMR may occur in some circumstances. 

Coomera Connector map

Coomera Connector alignment map