M1 Pacific Motorway Upgrades – Kariong to Somersby

Roads and Maritime Services is upgrading the M1 Pacific Motorway between the Kariong and Somersby interchanges to improve traffic flow and safety. The upgrade involves widening the motorway and lengthening and widening three of the four ramps at the Kariong interchange.

This project is one of three M1 Upgrades, providing a better and more reliable journey on one of Australia’s busiest roads.

See visualisation of the start of major construction:

Updates and announcements

Intermittent night work will continue along the eight kilometre length of the project and lane closures will alternate between northbound and southbound of the M1 Pacific motorway to carry out work. The speed limit is reduced to 40km/h during night work for the safety of workers and all motorists.

A reduced 80km/h speed limit is in place throughout the project area.

Project overview

The M1 Pacific Motorway is an important link for motorists travelling between Sydney to Brisbane, which is one of the busiest transport routes in Australia.

The upgrade between Kariong and Somersby interchanges will cater for the expected increase in traffic forecast as a result of growth in the Central Coast, Hunter and North Coast, along with increased freight demand.

This project is part of the M1 Upgrades, which also includes upgrading the M1 between the Tuggerah and Doyalson interchanges and at the Weakleys Drive and John Renshaw Drive intersection. The M1 Upgrades make up the $391.6 million M1 Productivity Package funded by the Australian and NSW governments to improve traffic flow and safety.

Key features and benefits

The upgrade includes:

  • widening the motorway between the Kariong and Somersby interchanges to provide three lanes in each direction
  • repairing and replacing sections of the motorway between Kariong and Somersby interchanges to improve road surfaces
  • extending and widening three of the four ramps at the Kariong interchange.

Road widening work will not take place on the section of motorway between the north-facing and south-facing ramps at the Kariong interchange. Traffic modelling shows this section of motorway meets current and predicted traffic capacity requirements.

Key benefits include:

  • increased traffic capacity of the motorway and Kariong interchange will result in reduced delays and improved travel times
  • increase to three travel lanes in both directions allows for predicted increases in traffic
  • improved road safety and capacity improvements for motorists to and from the motorway by lengthening and widening ramps at the Kariong interchange
  • improved safety for freight to travel between Sydney and the North Coast.

A primary focus of the project is the upgrade of three of the four ramps at the Kariong interchange to increase capacity and safety for merging traffic by:

  • extending and widening the northbound exit ramp (to Gosford) to two lanes exiting the motorway
  • extending the northbound entry ramp (to Newcastle) and upgrading its intersection with Wisemans Ferry Road
  • extending and widening the southbound entry ramp lanes (to Sydney) to two lanes joining the motorway.

Next steps

Construction started in April 2018 and is due for completion in early 2020, weather permitting. The speed limit has been reduced to 80km/h and will be in place for the duration of the project.

We will continue to keep stakeholders and the community informed as the project progresses.

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