Pacific Motorway M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade

The $1.5 billion Pacific Motorway Varsity Lakes to Tugun (VL2T) project is being delivered to upgrade 10km of the M1 and is being constructing in packages to ensure faster delivery and best value for money.

Package A was completed in late 2022 and packages B and C are in construction and expected to open progressively from 2024. The project packages include:

  • Package A Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) to Burleigh (Exit 87)
  • Package B Burleigh (Exit 87) to Palm Beach (Nineteenth Avenue)
  • Package C Palm Beach (Nineteenth Avenue) to Tugun (Exit 95)


  • Improves safety
  • Reduces travel time
  • Contributes to economy
  • Increases capacity
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Better road access

Key features

Widening 10km of the M1 from 2 to a minimum of 3 lanes in both directions between Varsity Lakes (Exit 85) and Tugun (Exit 95), including improvements to the road alignment. 

  • Extending all entry and exit ramps at interchanges, and significant improvements made to:  
    • Burleigh (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 connections.


The Australian Government has committed $750 million towards this project. The Queensland Government will fund the balance of the project, noting the Australian Government contributions fall short of the requested funding splits. Investment ID 852582.

Funding figures updated December 2023 to reflect increased Australian Government and Queensland Government contributions.

Total investment
$1.5 billion
Australian Government
$750 million
Queensland Government
$750 million

Key milestones

  • 2020: Design complete on all 3 motorway widening packages – A, B and C.
  • May 2020: Construction started on Varsity Lakes to Burleigh (Package A).
  • Late 2020: Construction started on Burleigh to Palm Beach (Package B) and Palm Beach to Tugun (Package C).
  • 2021: Motorway widening on all 3 packages underway across the 10km route.
  • November 2022: Package A construction completed.
  • 2024: Motorway widening in Packages B and C expected to open progressively.

February 2022 flood event

In February 2022, a significant rain event was recorded at Tallebudgera Creek catchment. This event was catastrophic and resulted in unprecedented flooding.

In response to community concerns that works being undertaken as part of the VL2T upgrade may have contributed to increased flood levels during this extreme rainfall, an independent hydraulics specialist was engaged to undertake a full hydraulic analysis of the flooding event and its impacts.

Following the release of the independent hydraulics report in March 2023, TMR obtained new photographic and video evidence from property owners of the February 2022 flooding event. This information was used to improve the accuracy of the flood model used by the hydraulics specialist, with an addendum report released in July 2023.

M1 Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrade construction fly through

Drive-through each package of the VL2T upgrade:

Package A (Varsity Lakes to Burleigh)

Package B (Burleigh to Palm Beach)

Palm Beach to Tugun drive-through