It is the best Christmas present Coast commuters could hope for.
Though there are some finishing touches still to be made, the $104 million road upgrade between Maroochydore and the David Low Way was officially commissioned by Main Roads minister Warren Pitt this week.
The upgrade includes the new Maroochy River Bridge, the redesigned Maroochy Road interchange and the duplication of the Sunshine Motorway.
All work is expected to be fully operational by December 19.
The Maroochy Bridge now has three lanes in each direction, including two lanes for through traffic and one lane servicing Bradman Avenue.
Mr Pitt said the roadworks had doubled the motorway capacity and cut 15 minutes off the average peak time journey.
He said the project had also stimulated the local economy by providing more than 130 full-time jobs over the construction period, as well as creating jobs off-site in the manufacturing sector.
Mudjimba Progress Association president Jenny Kempe said the upgrade would mean a significant improvement in lifestyle for North Shore residents.
“We used to have to leave for work a good 25 minutes earlier just to get through all that,” Ms Kempe said.
“It’s going to make a huge difference to us in this particular area – Mudjimba, Twin Waters area – as far as traffic congestion goes and in quietening our streets down, which is just wonderful,” she said.
“It has been a long time coming and it’s a wonderful thing that it’s actually completed.
“They (the state government) have invested a lot of money in the North Shore of late and we’re pleased about it.”
Main Roads director-general Alan Tesch said the upgrade had finished early despite wet weather problems.
“This project has been delivered over the two year period at a time when we’ve had three and a half metres of rain,” Mr Tesch said.
Lester Jackson, project manager when stage one was completed in 1990, is delighted with the latest upgrade.
“I look at it from an engineering perspective and I think the product we’ve delivered is first class,” Mr Jackson said.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.