Sunshine Motorway, Mooloolah River Interchange Upgrade (Stage 1)

The Mooloolah River Interchange upgrade will deliver a safe, efficient and effective transport network to meet the current and future transport needs of the Sunshine Coast.

Planning has been completed, which includes finalisation of the detailed business case and the final planning layout for the Mooloolah River Interchange at Mountain Creek. Community consultation on the planning layout is now open.

This project will improve north–south travel between key residential, employment, health and education facilities to support population, economic and tourism growth in one of Australia's fastest growing regions.

In addition to improved transport capacity, reliability and safety, the Mooloolah River Interchange will also improve access for local communities in the Mooloolaba, Mountain Creek and Birtinya areas, and improve active transport connectivity.

Benefits

  • Improves safety
  • Improves network efficiency
  • Better road access
  • Reduces peak hour congestion
  • Reduces travel time
  • Contributes to economy

Key features

The first stage of this project will include:

  • A new road overpass to provide a more direct and efficient connection from Nicklin Way to Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba.
  • A new local road connection between Karawatha Drive in Mountain Creek and Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba.

Future stages included in the planning layout will deliver: 

  • A new crossing of the Mooloolah River, connecting the Sunshine Motorway to Kawana Way.
  • A major interchange, the Mooloolah River Interchange, with connections to the Sunshine Motorway to the west and north, Nicklin Way to the south-east, and Kawana Way to the south.
  • An upgrade of the Sunshine Motorway from 2 to 4 lanes between the existing Kawana Way Interchange and the Mooloolah River Interchange.
  • A direct, safe and efficient connection for the Sunshine Motorway, north to west.
  • An additional northbound lane on the Sunshine Motorway.

Funding

The $320 million Stage 1 of the project is funded and will be constructed first. 

The Queensland Government has committed $160 million to deliver Stage 1 of this project as part of the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (Investment ID 2007574). 

The Australian Government has committed $160 million to deliver Stage 1 of this project. 

Total investment
$320 million
Australian Government
$160 million
Queensland Government
$160 million

Mooloolah River Interchange flythrough

Video Transcript

The Queensland Government is planning a major transport infrastructure project at Mountain Creek to make it easier, safer and quicker for people to travel on the Sunshine Coast, one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.

The Mooloolah River Interchange project will deliver a major new interchange, which will provide improved north-south connectivity and more efficient access to Maroochydore CBD, University of the Sunshine Coast, the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and health precinct, and the beaches.

It will also improve safety, by reducing crashes and traffic weaving.

Other improvements include an additional northbound lane on the Sunshine Motorway up to the Buderim-Mooloolaba Interchange and a new Sunshine Motorway overpass to provide a continuous high-speed connection for motorists travelling from north to west.

Access will be improved for local communities with a new Nicklin Way overpass connecting directly to Brisbane Road, new Mooloolah River crossings connecting the Sunshine Motorway to Kawana Way, a new link between Karawatha Drive and Brisbane Road and a new Sunshine Motorway overpass.

Active transport pathways are also included in the planning layout, to make it easier for people to ride and walk and a new signalised intersection will connect the Mooloolah River crossings to Kawana Way and southern areas of the Sunshine Coast.

The Mooloolah River Interchange project will provide new north-south connectivity between Maroochydore and southern growth areas, delivering a safer and more efficient transport network to meet the current and future transport needs of the growing Sunshine Coast region.

To find out more about the Mooloolah River Interchange project, visit tmr.qld.gov.au/mooloolahriverinterchange 

 

Current status

Community consultation on the planning layout closed on 27 August 2021. Feedback provided by the community will be considered as part of the detailed design phase, which will start in late 2021. 

Construction timeframes for Stage 1, including a start date, will be determined as part of the detailed design phase. 

What stages will be constructed first?

The first stages of the project will include:

  • a new road overpass to connect Nicklin Way northbound with Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba (this is the focus of one of the artist impressions)
  • a new local road connection between Karawatha Drive in Mountain Creek and Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba.

These important local road connections will separate local traffic from high speed motorway traffic and reduce traffic weaving, which is a well-known issue at this interchange.

Other upgrades in the planning layout, to be constructed in future stages, include:

  • major upgrades to the Sunshine Motorway north–south and east–west connections
  • a direct connection between the Sunshine Motorway and Kawana Way at Parrearra, including new bridges across the Mooloolah River 
  • duplicating the Sunshine Motorway from 2 to 4 lanes between the Mooloolah River Interchange and Kawana Way Interchange
  • an additional northbound lane on the Sunshine Motorway between the Mooloolah River Interchange and Buderim–Mooloolaba Interchange
  • enhanced active transport facilities and connectivity.

What are the next steps for this project?

Completion of the detailed business case was a critical step in confirming the cost and benefits of the Mooloolah River Interchange project. Now that a planning layout has been developed, the department is seeking community feedback. This feedback will be considered in developing the detailed design. Once the detailed design is complete, construction will start on Stage 1.

When will this project be constructed and what will construction involve?

With funding now allocated for Stage 1 detailed design and construction, the project will progress to detailed design following community consultation on the planning layout. Construction dates and stages for a transport infrastructure project will be determined as part of the detailed design phase.

Does the updated layout require additional property resumptions?

The detailed business case design does identify a further requirement for 4 properties, additional to those that have been previously identified during earlier planning phases. This includes 1 residential property and 3 partial requirements for nearby government-owned properties. The department is liaising with impacted property owners directly. 

What parts of the project can be influenced by community feedback?

We are seeking community feedback on the overall design, such as local active transport connections and landscaping. We will consider any suggestions and concerns as part of the detailed design process. Due to the complexity of this project and the associated traffic engineering and safety standards, many aspects of the road design are unable to be changed.

Community feedback provided as part of the current community engagement period will be considered as part of the detailed design phase. we will continue to inform key stakeholders and the wider community about the project before and during construction.

Will the project impact local residents?

Some property owners will be impacted by property acquisitions required for the project and we will liaise directly with those property owners to ensure they are well informed of the project in line with our acquisition process.

We will ensure impacted property owners are given ample notice of the planned property acquisitions to provide an option for them to apply for early acquisition, subject to meeting the Early Acquisition Policy criteria.

We will liaise with residents and businesses in proximity to the project during the detailed design phase and prior to construction to inform them of any potential disruptions during construction and any traffic changes that will be in place once the project is constructed. We will minimise or mitigate these impacts as much as possible and will liaise with affected residents and business owners to provide advance notice where possible.

How will motorists know how to navigate the complex road changes proposed by the Mooloolah River Interchange project?

The detailed design phase will identify and include a combination of directional and destination appropriate signage and line marking to delineate travel directions. These will help direct people to ensure drivers are able to identify appropriate lanes and exits for their destinations. We use national standards and guidelines as outlined in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices  for all signage considerations.

Does the planning layout allow for Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study and/or the Sunshine Coast Mass Transit project?

We are planning a Sunshine Coast transport network which supports multiple modes, including public transport. The needs and impacts of future projects such as Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study (CAMCOS) and the Sunshine Coast Mass Transit project have been considered as part of Mooloolah River Interchange planning. The availability of a corridor for the future construction of the CAMCOS rail component was confirmed.

Planning layout

Proposed layout of Mooloolah River Interchange

Stage 1 plan (local road connections)

Image of Mooloolah River Interchange stage 1 proposed local road connections

Mooloolah River Interchange location map 

Location map of Mooloolah River Interchange Upgrade with the following numbers 1.	An additional northbound lane between the Mooloolah River Interchange and Buderim-Mooloolaba Interchange  2.	New Sunshine Motorway overpass for traffic travelling from north to west (replaces existing loop configuration) 3.	New overpass providing eastbound traffic with a direct link to Brisbane Road 4.	Duplication of the Sunshine Motorway between the existing Kawana Way Interchange and the new Mooloolah River Interchange, completing four-lanes to the Bruce Highway 5.	New direct local road connection between Karawatha Drive and Brisbane Road, removing the need for local drivers to weave across Sunshine Motorway traffic 6.	New overpass to connect Nicklin Way northbound with Brisbane Road (replaces existing loop configuration to Mooloolaba) 7.	New active transport provisions (pathways and cycle lanes) linking Parrearra, Mountain Creek and Mooloolaba 8.	New Mooloolah River Crossing connecting the Sunshine Motorway to Kawana Way 9.	New signalised intersection with Kawana Way

  1. An additional northbound lane between the Mooloolah River Interchange and Buderim-Mooloolaba Interchange
  2. New Sunshine Motorway overpass for traffic travelling from north to west (replaces existing loop configuration)
  3. New overpass providing eastbound traffic with a direct link to Brisbane Road
  4. Duplication of the Sunshine Motorway between the existing Kawana Way Interchange and the new Mooloolah River Interchange, completing four-lanes to the Bruce Highway
  5. New direct local road connection between Karawatha Drive and Brisbane Road, removing the need for local drivers to weave across Sunshine Motorway traffic
  6. New overpass to connect Nicklin Way northbound with Brisbane Road (replaces existing loop configuration to Mooloolaba)
  7. New active transport provisions (pathways and cycle lanes) linking Parrearra, Mountain Creek and Mooloolaba
  8. New Mooloolah River Crossing connecting the Sunshine Motorway to Kawana Way
  9. New signalised intersection with Kawana Way