Commute times slashed between Sydney and Lake Macquarie
Motorists delight in completion of M1 Motorway upgrades
Ask any motorist in NSW to name one of Australia’s busiest roads and no doubt the M1 motorway will rate high on the list. For decades, locals and holidaymakers have battled bumper-to-bumper traffic on trips into or out of Sydney at peak periods, making it a rather cumbersome and uncertain driving experience. But things are about to improve when the $391.6m M1 Upgrades Project managed by the Australian Federal and NSW Governments, comes to successful completion in the coming weeks.
Upgrades between Kariong and Somersby – completed May 2020
With many Sydney-siders choosing to move out of the rat race to a more laid back lifestyle on the Central Coast or Lake Macquarie, the need for better traffic flow and safety on the M1 was heightened. In the last two years, the motorway has been widened and three of the four ramps at Kariong interchange has also been widened. The road speed limit in the area returned to 110km/hr at the end of May, however, a small amount of night work requires a reduced speed limit in the evenings to protect workers and other road users.
Boyd McCallum, the Project Director at Catalina Retirement Village in Lake Macquarie, says the completion of this section of the M1 has slashed commute times considerably.
“Gate-to-gate, we can get to Sydney in under an hour from here,” says Boyd. “From leaving our front entrance to the exit ramp at Wahroonga, it’s unbelievably quick and such a pleasant commute now the speed zones are back to normal.”
“Leaving Sydney you are here in no time at all,” he says. “Future residents can’t believe how close we really are, making a move to this incredible region even more desirable and a much better value proposition than our neighbours in Newcastle or the Central Coast.”
Upgrades between Tuggerah and Doyalson – final stages imminent
Construction completion between Tuggerah and Doyalson is also imminent with the motorway being widened to now incorporate three lanes North and Southbound. The road surface is also smoother and more durable than before. The 12-kilometre section between Wyong Road and the Doyalson Link Road was originally just two lanes each way.
With growth continuing rapidly in the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and Hunter regions, this upgrade will more than cater to the increase in traffic demand and subsequently reduce travel time making Lake Macquarie and surrounds more accessible to Sydneysiders.
“With the Motorway upgrades nearing completion, we expect to see even more retirees and grey nomads leaving Sydney for the more affordable and greener pastures of Lake Macquarie,” says Boyd.
Fun fact: Concrete rubble recycled into new road
The effect of the environmental impact of construction has been top of mind throughout the project. As part of one of Australia’s biggest concrete recycling projects, over 200,000 tonnes of cracked road surface between Tuggerah and Doyalson has been recycled into the brand new road.
“The NSW Government is leading the way in delivering innovative solutions to maximise efficiencies and minimise environmental impact on major road projects,” Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said in a recent media release from RMS NSW.
Check out this video showing how the concrete was recycled. Amazing stuff.
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