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 upgrading 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.

Updates and announcements

Major construction is under way with safety barriers installed along the motorway, temporary lanes marked and vegetation cleared along the eight kilometre length of the project.

A reduced 80km/h speed limit will be in place throughout the project. There will be a 40km/h speed limit in place along with northbound and southbound lane closures during night work for the safety of workers and all motorists.

Working hours are between 6am and 8pm from Monday to Friday and between 7am and 5pm on Saturday. Work will occasionally need to take place outside these hours to minimise traffic impacts.

The project is expected to be completed in 2020, weather permitting.

More information about the progress of the M1 Upgrades can be found in the August 2018 project update (PDF, 797Kb).

Video - start of major construction

Project background

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 eight kilometre section of motorway between the Kariong and Somersby interchanges is a combination of two or three lanes in each direction. It is used by through traffic, including freight, as well as traffic accessing the Central Coast.

The upgrade from Kariong interchange to Somersby interchange 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 on the M1.

Key features and benefits

Work will include:

  • repairing sections of the motorway between the Kariong and Somersby interchanges before construction of an additional lane
  • widening the motorway between the Kariong and Somersby interchanges to provide three lanes in each direction.

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

The project also includes upgrading three of the four ramps at the Kariong interchange to increase capacity and safety for merging traffic, including:

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

Key benefits will include:

  • increased traffic capacity
  • improved travel times for motorists
  • improved capacity and safety at the Kariong interchange ramps.

Next steps

Construction began in April 2018 and is due for completion in 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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