Plans to tackle two of Qld's biggest traffic bottlenecks

PLANS to upgrade the Pacific Motorway and Gateway Merge - two of Queensland's biggest bottlenecks - are being discussed in Brisbane on Friday.

Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher and Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey will meet to discuss progress on the M1 upgrades, following an initial meeting in Sydney last month.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads will commence an expression of interest process for the design and construction of the upgrade of the Pacific Motorway M1/M3/Gateway Merge at Eight Mile Plains.

Preparations will also now begin to engage a design consultant for the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes project.

This work will offer a clear idea of firm market-based construction costs, a government statement said.

"If these costings turn out to be lower than estimates in the business case - something which is currently quite common due to highly competitive conditions in the construction sector - that would make the collective task of funding the upgrades a little easier.

The Commonwealth Government will 'front-load' its funding commitment to fully fund the procurement process for the Gateway Merge project. This funding will also progress the significant pre-construction works required for the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade.

While both governments reserved their position on the funding split, discussions around delivery of the two upgrades will progress based on the outcomes of each process.

The Gateway Merge will tackle one of the state's most problematic bottlenecks - more than 148,000 vehicles travel through this congested section each day, including 12,000 heavy vehicles.

The upgrade will include a new four-lane bridge over the Pacific Motorway and the realignment of Underwood Road between Logan Road and School Road.

The five-kilometre widening between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes will modernise the motorway to reduce the number and severity of motor vehicle incidents, help freight businesses operate more efficiently and above all cut travel times for commuters.