That is an additional 20,000 vehicles since a February 2019 Infrastructure Australia report said an average of 150,000 vehicles per day use the Brisbane to Gold Coast link.
According to Infrastructure Australia, the vehicle growth recently began to exceed the design specifications for the Pacific Motorway.
“By 2036, congestion impacts are expected to worsen and result in over 89,767 vehicle hours of delay each day.”
In November 2019 Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met in Brisbane to readjust infrastructure funding after a disappointing “pre-federal election” federal budget where the majority of Queensland’s infrastructure funding was four years into the future.
Funding to Pacific Highway roadworks projects and to the future 45-kilometre, six-lane, semi-alternative Pacific Motorway between Nerang and Loganholme – called the Coomera Connector – allows projects to be consecutively-built.
The 790-kilometre Pacific Highway links between the two Pacific Motorways – Brisbane to Brunswick Heads and Newcastle to Sydney.
But when will the existing roadworks be finished and the new roadworks begin?
Eight Mile Plains and Rochedale near Exit 19
The first roadworks here will be finished by March or April 2020 if it doesn’t rain.
It is a $195 million section where the M3 tollway – which runs east-west between Eight Mile Plains and Bald Hills – meets the Pacific Motorway at Eight Mile Plains.
It means five southbound lanes between Eight Mile Plains and Rochedale South.
The old Underwood Road bridge has been replaced by a four-lane overpass and electronic signs, travel data and variable speed signs will go into sections between Klumpp and Rochedale roads.
Inland from Miami and Burleigh – Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes works from exits 79 to 85
There is a lot of work going on here along almost six kilometres of the motorway and the roadworks should then be finished by mid-2020.
They are building three lanes in each direction between Mudgeeraba (exit 79) and the exit to Varsity Lakes (exit 75).
Four lanes are being built heading northwards between Robina (exit 82) and the Link Way (exit 80).
New overflow bridges are being built on the north side of the motorway for Mudgeeraba Creek and a new bridge is being built for Stapley Drive.
Also, the southbound exit ramps for Stapley Drive and Reedy Creek Road are being combined.
Beginning in mid-2020: four more years of roadworks
From mid-2020, a series of projects with a $749 million price tag will widen the motorway from Eight Mile Plains, through Underwood, Rochedale, Springwood, Slacks Creek and Daisy Hill.
A fish passage will go alongside Bulimba Creek.
The South-East Busway will be extended down to Springwood and a new bus interchange and park-and-ride facility will be built at Rochedale.
A new M1 on-ramp will be built at Lexington Road and a new combined on-ramp built to ease congestion at Loganlea and Paradise roads. But it will take four years.
The exits at Yatala and Pimpama will be revamped at a cost of almost $200 million.
And then, inland from Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera and Palm Beach from mid-2020
Funds of $1.03 billion will also be spent from mid-2020 over the next four years widening the narrow 10-kilometre section running behind Burleigh towards Tugun.
The work includes a new bridge over Tallebudgera Creek and new exits to Palm Beach and Tallebudgera exits.
It includes a corridor for a future extension of the rail line to Varsity Lakes and a wildlife corridor underneath the motorway for fauna to move between Burleigh and Springbrook.
Tony Moore is a senior reporter at the Brisbane Times