M1 Drives Growth in South East

Published Friday, 06 October, 2000 at 12:00 AM

The Honourable Peter Beattie

Queensland's new $850 million Pacific Motorway will provide the access needed to drive economic and population growth in South-East Queensland for many years, Premier Peter Beattie said today.

Mr Beattie and Transport and Main Roads Minister Steve Bredhauer officially commissioned the eight-lane Motorway today (Friday).

"While most Queenslanders will simply enjoy the time savings and convenience of the new Pacific Motorway, the project is already delivering real economic benefits." Mr Beattie said.

"We have delivered a new road which will help drive the creation of new jobs.

"Transport infrastructure is a major catalyst for regional development and is one of my Government's major priorities. The South-East will be home to more than 3.8 million people by 2021.

"The Queensland Integrated Regional Transport Plan found that almost 80% of the 123 million tonnes of goods carried in the area were transported by road.

"A big slice of the Gold Coast's domestic tourism market comes from Brisbane, and I'm sure Gold Coast tourist operators are looking forward to a busy Indy period and summer holidays.

"The Pacific Motorway is one of a range of innovative transport initiatives throughout the State including the South East Transit Project that connects with the Motorway and will incorporate Queensland's first busway and transit lanes between Logan and Brisbane's CBD.

"The Pacific Motorway project directly employed 1,760 people during construction with another 4,000 employed by suppliers and associated organisations.

"Just as important as their fortnightly pay-packets are the skills acquired by the workers who will take these skills to other projects."

Transport and Main Roads Minister Steve Bredhauer thanked the South-East Queensland community for local input that had enhanced the design of the Motorway.

"The Pacific Motorway provides a broad network of access that brings communities closer together and will help sustain economic growth in the South-East," Mr Bredhauer said.

"It is designed to cope with a projected doubling of traffic demand to 170,000 vehicles a day by 2020.

"The motorway contains design features, innovations and technology that are at the leading edge of transport infrastructure anywhere in the world.

"The Motorway offers eight lanes and a 110km/h speed limit along most of its 43 kilometres, but the speed limit is 100km/h at the northern and southern ends," Mr Bredhauer said.

Mr Beattie also applauded the Motorway's environmental features that minimised pollution during construction and have improved native habitats and wildlife corridors.

"The Pacific Motorway is a leading example of how big projects can help integrate and enhance local communities without overwhelming them and it has set the benchmark for similar projects around Australia."

Key features of the Pacific Motorway include: Eight lanes along most of the route and a speed limit of up to 110km/h that will take about 10 minutes off the travelling time between Brisbane and the Gold Coast; A 47km network of new service roads that removes the need for residents to use the Motorway for local trips and separates high speed through traffic from low speed local traffic; Inbuilt safety features including wide shoulders, integrated links with police and emergency services and wire rope and landscaping barriers; Sophisticated traffic management including 20 surveillance cameras and electronic sensors in the road with information relayed to motorists via variable message signs; Sixteen interchanges providing better access to the Motorway and connecting the Motorway to the service road network; Repositioned and lengthened on and off ramps to allow vehicles to adjust their speed before entering or leaving the Motorway so traffic travels smoothly; Thirty Motorway crossings (up from 15 on the old Pacific Highway) to provide better community connections on either side; A new highway signage system using exit names and numbers which indicate distances from the centre of Brisbane, and designation of the Motorway as the M1; More than one million trees, shrubs and groundcovers in 210 hectares of landscaping that protects and enhances wildlife habitat, and sedimentation ponds that remove pollutants from 'first flush' runoff from the Motorway.

Mr Beattie congratulated the Pacific Motorway team for the high standard of work.

Further information: Steve Bishop 07 3224 4500 or Harry Williams 07 3237 1949