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Construction of a major new road east of the M1 between Coomera and Nerang will be prioritised to take pressure off the highway and support growing north Gold Coast communities.

The Palaszczuk Government will start consultation next month on its plans for stage one of the Coomera Connector, also known as the ‘second M1’.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said traffic data and population projections presented a compelling case for staging the project, starting at the Gold Coast end of the major M1 alternative.

“Traffic counts done earlier this year showed 210,000 vehicles travel on the M1 between Coomera and Nerang every day,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Current TMR estimates tell us constructing the southern section as stage one would take up to 60,000 vehicles a day off the M1 at the Coomera River.”

The Premier said residents could expect to see a lot of work happening around the proposed stage one route in the coming months.

“TMR staff will start talking with residents next month, with flora and fauna studies and detailed plans being drawn up,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We’re on track to start work on the business case in the coming months too.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said prioritising the Gold Coast section meant the focus would come off the northern section of the Coomera Connector between Loganholme and Coomera.

“Staging the works will give the project team more time to investigate potential alternative routes for the northern section, to take into account local environmental concerns,” he said.

“TMR will also work with the community, the Queensland Government’s Koala Advisory Council, other volunteer groups and government environmental agencies to develop a Coomera Connector environmental management plan.

The 45-kilometre Coomera Connector corridor between Loganholme and Nerang was formally confirmed in the Queensland Government Gazette on 15 March 2019.

The prioritised southern section will run from Nerang Broadbeach Road at Nerang, to Foxwell Road at Coomera.