Pacific Motorway M1 Varsity Lakes to Burleigh

The Pacific Motorway (M1) Varsity Lakes to Tugun (VL2T) is being upgraded and it will be delivered in packages.

All motorway widening works – Packages A, B and C – are now underway. Construction on the first section between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh (Package A) is progressing well.

In this 2km section, the department is:

  • widening the M1 to a minimum of 3 lanes in both directions 
  • extending and relocating the Exit 85 northbound off-ramp by 250m 
  • adding a 4th northbound lane between Burleigh (Exit 87) and Reedy Creek (Exit 85)
  • installing a new shared bike and pedestrian path on the western side of the motorway 
  • constructing a new diverging diamond interchange at Exit 87 
  • using smart motorway technologies to help reduce 'stop-start' travel on the motorway 
  • replacing the existing concrete road surface with stone mastic asphalt for a quieter and easier maintained road surface
  • preserving a corridor for a potential future rail extension. 

Benefits

  • Improves safety
  • Better road access
  • Increases capacity
  • Reduces travel time
  • Reduces peak hour congestion
  • Better active transport

Key features

A new Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at Exit 87

The Burleigh Interchange at Exit 87 is being transformed into an innovative DDI, which will provide a new way of managing existing traffic volumes and increasing demands. This new interchange configuration will improve safety and keep large traffic volumes moving quickly. For more information, including a visual demonstration, view the new drive-through video or refer to the DDI fact sheet.

Extended and relocated the new Exit 85 northbound off-ramp

The new extended off-ramp, now located 200m north of the former off-ramp, will improve motorist safety and increase capacity in this location of the road network. The new off-ramp connects directly to Old Coach Road near Woodland Park via a new signalised intersection. The former Exit 85 off-ramp at Reedy Creek, which previously joined the roundabout at Old Coach Road and Kingsmore Boulevard, would often queue back onto the M1 during peak traffic times.

Active transport connections

A new shared bike and pedestrian path, around 3m wide, will be constructed on the western side of the motorway. This new path will connect from the Burleigh (Exit 87) interchange, run adjacent to the northbound motorway lanes, and join the local bikeway network at the new Exit 85/Old Coach Road northbound off-ramp. A 1.8m high safety barrier will separate the new shared path from the motorway lanes.

Smart motorway technologies

Smart motorway technologies help to reduce 'stop-start' travel, improve safety and provide more predictable travel times for motorists.

See the Smart motorway fact sheet for more information.

Funding

The Pacific Motorway M1 Varsity Lakes to Burleigh project is being delivered as Package A of the Pacific Motorway M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade. Investment ID 852582

Total investment
$1 billion
Australian Government
$680 million
Queensland Government
$320 million

Key milestones

  • Late 2019: Community information sessions held to get feedback on the design.
  • Early 2020: Design complete on Package A Varsity Lakes to Burleigh.
  • May 2020: Construction started on Package A Varsity Lakes to Burleigh.
  • May 2021: The new Exit 85 northbound off-ramp at Reedy Creek opened to traffic.
  • Mid to late 2022: Construction on Package A expected to finish.

Current status

Construction is underway and will be complete by mid to late 2022 (weather permitting).

Diverging Diamond Interchange

The new DDI will replace the pre-existing roundabout at Exit 87. The new interchange configuration involves through-traffic briefly crossing over to the right-hand (opposite) side of the interchange, safely guided by traffic signals, signage, and road markings at each crossover, before moving back to the left side and exiting the interchange.

Southport-Burleigh Road (Bermuda Street) 

Motorists on Southport-Burleigh Road (Bermuda Street) wanting to access the M1 northbound, will enter the interchange on a green traffic signal and cross to the right-hand side of the interchange, then continue right onto the northbound entry ramp without stopping and without conflicting with through-traffic. 

Motorists on Southport–Burleigh Road wanting to access the M1 southbound will have a dedicated lane to the on-ramp that eliminates the need to enter the new intersection. 

Oyster Creek Drive

Motorists on Oyster Creek Drive wanting to access the M1 northbound will have a dedicated lane to the on-ramp that eliminates the need to enter the new intersection. 

Motorists on Oyster Creek Drive wanting to access the M1 southbound, will enter the interchange and cross to the right-hand side of the interchange, then continue right onto the southbound entry ramp controlled by traffic signals. 

Through-traffic across the interchange

Through-traffic continues on the right-hand side through the interchange and switches back to the left side after exiting the interchange, all guided by signage and road marking. Through-traffic and turning traffic movements in the same direction will travel at the same time, eliminating additional traffic signal phases and signalised stoppages

Diverging Diamond Interchange drive-through video

This video is an indicative demonstration and has been made available for informational and educational purposes only.

Video Transcript

The Pacific Motorway M1 Burleigh Interchange is being transformed into a Diverging Diamond Interchange, the first of its kind on the Gold Coast.

Known as a DDI, this new configuration will provide an innovative way to address increasing traffic demands, improve safety, and keep people moving.

This video will demonstrate all of the possible movements through, and adjacent to, the new interchange.

When entering the DDI motorists will briefly cross over to the right-hand side of the interchange.

Safely guided by traffic signals, green and white directional signage, and line-marking at each crossover, before moving back to the left-hand side and exiting the interchange.

This allows through traffic and turning traffic to move at the same time.

For example, when travelling through the interchange from Oyster Creek Drive on the western side of the M1, motorists will enter the DDI on a green signal, and will continue on any of the 3 lanes to Southport-Burleigh Road, locally known as Bermuda Street.

Or motorists can use the right lane to enter the M1 southbound to Coolangatta.

Motorists travelling from Southport to Oyster Creek Drive, will keep right when entering the interchange from Southport-Burleigh Road, and continue in the left lane through to Oyster Creek Drive.

Or motorists can use the right lane of the interchange to enter the M1 northbound to Nerang.

Motorists travelling on the M1 southbound to Oyster Creek Drive, will exit the M1 and continue in the right-hand lane of the offramp.

And through a set of traffic signals to Oyster Creek Drive.

Motorists travelling northbound on the M1 to Southport-Burleigh Road will enter the DDI, keep right, and travel through a signalised intersection.

Before continuing through the interchange to Southport-Burleigh Road.

When motorists are entering or exiting the M1, to and from Southport-Burleigh Road or Oyster Creek Drive, these movements will be provided by dedicated on-and-off ramps, which will operate in conjunction with other traffic movements through the DDI.

Improved active transport facilities will also be provided as part of this interchange upgrade, and these include an on-road bike lane, and a separated shared user path with safe refuge points.

For more information, please visit the project webpage via the TMR website, or contact the project team on 1800 799 824 select option 1, or email VL2T@tmr.qld.gov.au.

Varsity Lakes to Burleigh fly-through

Video Description

M1 Pacific Motorway Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade.

$1.03 billion upgrade delivered in stages.

This is Package A from Varsity Lakes to Burleigh.

On-ramps to the M1 at Varsity Lakes remain the same.

Northbound off-ramp at Exit 85 Kingsmore Boulevard extended by 250m, will exit directly onto Old Coach Road via a new signalised intersection.

New signals at all on-ramps to the M1 to manage the rate of vehicles entering the motorway.

Active transport connections are improved with a new shared pedestrian and bike path adjacent to the motorway on the western side. A concrete safety barrier will separate active transport users from road users.

This new shared path will run from the Burleigh Interchange at Exit 87 to the Varsity Lakes interchange at Exit 85.

A new Diverging Diamond Interchange will replace the existing roundabout at the Burleigh Interchange (Exit 87).

Known as a DDI, this innovative design will provide a balanced solution to managing increasing traffic demands by improving safety and keeping people moving.

The new DDI will cater to active transport users with a dedicated on-road bike lane and a shared user path, providing improved east-west connections over the motorway.

The M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.

For more info contact the VL2T project team on 1800 799 824 (Select option 1) or VL2T@tmr.qld.gov.au.