Last leg of the Sunshine Motorway upgrade complete

Main Roads minister Craig Wallace officially opened the Pacific Paradise interchange and bypass. Photo: Michaela O’Neill/182296
Main Roads minister Craig Wallace officially opened the Pacific Paradise interchange and bypass. Photo: Michaela O’Neill/182296

Little by little, stage by stage, the lot of the north shore motorist is improving.

First, the Maroochy River Bridge duplication was completed, and this week the $106.5 million Pacific Paradise bypass was officially opened to traffic.

Main Roads minister Craig Wallace said the project was the last leg of the $217.5 million Sunshine Motorway upgrade between Maroochydore Road and Pacific Paradise.

Mr Wallace said the bypass – now known as the North Shore Connection Road – would take 10,000 vehicles out of Pacific Paradise and cut 15 minutes off the average journey at peak times for motorists travelling from the north shore to Maroochydore.

“Diverting traffic away from David Low Way will also increase safety for the local community and especially the many children who have to cross this road daily on their way to and from school,” he said.

Main Roads regional director Dennis Tennant said despite five months of delays due to 3.2 metres of rainfall, the requirement for one million cubic metres of fill, and the temporary removal and replacement of the tiny wallum froglet population, the bypass project came in on time.

Sunshine Coast councillor Debbie Blumel said that after many years of campaigning for the projectshe was thrilled to see it open for traffic.

“I stood under the street sign of Runway Drive some years ago with then state treasurer Terry Mackenroth, who pledged this road as an election commitment. It was a great breakthrough at the time and a significant financial commitment from the state government,” she said.

“Today, the Sunshine Coast has a first-class road system that forms a vital link between the Sunshine Motorway, David Low Way and Sunshine Coast Airport.

“This road, in conjunction with the duplication of the Sunshine Motorway and the new Maroochy River Bridge has transformed the Maroochy River north shore.”

Planning is also underway to provide pedestrian and cycle facilities on the Sunshine Motorway and Emu Mountain Road between the Pacific Paradise interchange and Eumundi-Noosa Road.

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