Reference Design and Business Case

Stage 1: Coomera to Nerang

The southern section of Coomera Connector between Coomera and Nerang has been identified as the priority section that will be built first.

When constructed, Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector is anticipated to improve transport capacity and accessibility, while also reducing trips on the M1 by providing:

  • an alternative north–south route between Coomera and Nerang
  • additional crossings of the Coomera and Nerang rivers
  • improved safety on the M1, reducing congestion by encouraging up to 60,000 vehicles per day to use the Coomera Connector for local trips
  • more reliable travel times between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Reference design and business case

Taking feedback from the community into consideration, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is developing a reference design for Stage 1. While the Coomera Connector corridor is wide enough for 6 lanes, predicted traffic volumes will inform the number of lanes that need to be included in the reference design.

The reference design will contain a sufficient level of detail to enable a cost estimate to be produced for the project. The estimated cost of Stage 1 will be documented in the Stage 1 business case, which is being led by Building Queensland.

The reference design and business case are expected to be completed in mid-2021 for government consideration.

Protecting our environment

The Coomera Connector will deliver best practice environmental outcomes.

Environmental approvals for the project are required through the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s assessment of the Stage 1 project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Environmental conditions will need to be satisfied to protect Matters of National Environmental Significance located in and around the corridor including the RAMSAR wetlands at Coombabah and local koala populations at Coomera, Helensvale and Parkwood.

More information about how environmental impacts will be addressed in the planning for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector is available on the Coomera Connector project page on the TMR website.


Stage 1 design features

Coomera Connector design features







The Coomera Connector Stage 1 reference design will include the following design features:

  • The Coomera Connector will be a high-speed motorway style road
  • Grade-separated (elevated) interchanges will minimise impacts on the existing traffic network
  • A shared path for walking and bike riding will improve opportunities for active transport
  • Bus priority measures and new bus routes will improve public transport outcomes
  • Noise barriers will form part of the design to minimise impact of road traffic noise
  • Wildlife sensitive design and exclusion fencing will allow safe wildlife movement.

Connecting to Coomera

Investigations are continuing to determine where the northern end point will be for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector.

An interchange at Shipper Drive is currently under investigation as an alternative to Oakey Creek Road. An interchange at Shipper Drive would facilitate access to the Gold Coast Marine Precinct and commercial precinct near Beattie Road.

Access to Coomera would be via Shipper Drive to Foxwell Road including an upgraded intersection at Foxwell Road.


Hope Island Road investigations

The Coomera River area is highly constrained with the rail corridor and planned Helensvale North station to the west of the Coomera Connector corridor and residential properties to the east.

Investigations have concluded that it is not feasible to provide a connection to Hope Island Road due to the significant number of residential properties and businesses that would need to be acquired.

Access to the Coomera Connector for Hope Island, Sanctuary Cove and Paradise Point will be provided via the interchange at Helensvale Road.

Coomera Connector at Hope Island Rd, Hope Island
Hope Island Rd
Coomera Connector near Hope Island Rd
Future Helensvale North station
Coomera Connector shared path
Existing train line
New bridge over Coomera River
Vegetation will be maintained where possible

Helensvale Road interchange

The Coomera Connector will be elevated over Helensvale Road, minimising impacts to traffic flows on Helensvale Road.

Coomera Connector Helensvale Road interchange
Existing train line
Coomera Connector
Monterey Keys Shopping Village
Coomera Connector northbound on-ramp
Coomera Connector northbound off-ramp
Helensvale Road
Coomera Connector southbound off-ramp
Coomera Connector southbound on-ramp
Coomera Connector shared path

Gold Coast Highway interchange

At Helensvale the Coomera Connector will run under the Gold Coast Highway, minimising impacts to traffic flows on the Gold Coast Highway.

Coomera Connector Gold Coast Highway interchange
Country Club Drive, Helensvale
Coomera Connector Gold Coast Highway interchange
Gold Coast Highway, Helensvale
Discovery Drive, Helensvale
Coomera Connector northbound off-ramp
Coomera Connector southbound off-ramp
Coomera Connector shared path
Coomera Connector northbound on-ramp
Coomera Connector southbound on-ramp
Vegetation to be maintained where possible
Existing train line

Smith Street Motorway interchange

At Parkwood the Coomera Connector will be elevated over the light rail park'n'ride facility, Smith Street Motorway and the light rail.

Coomera Connector Smith Street Motorway interchange
Pacific Motorway (M1)
Smith Street Motorway
Coomera Connector southbound off-ramp
Coomera Connector southbound off-ramp
Coomera Connector northbound on-ramp
New signalised intersection
Coomera Connector northbound on-ramp

Southport-Nerang Road interchange

The Coomera Connector will be elevated over Southport-Nerang Road minimising impacts to traffic flows on Southport-Nerang Road.

Coomera Connector Southport-Nerang Road interchange
Southport-Nerang Road
Coomera Connector northbound off-ramp
Coomera Connector northbound on-ramp
Coomera Connector southbound off-ramp
Coomera Connector southbound on-ramp
Coomera Connector shared path
Coomera Connector Southport-Nerang Rd interchange
Existing train line
Planting will be included in the design

Nerang-Broadbeach Road intersection

The Coomera Connector will start on Nerang-Broadbeach Road just west of Metricon Stadium providing an additional crossing over the Nerang River. Access to local businesses will be maintained.

Coomera Connector Nerang-Broadbeach Road interchange
Nerang-Broadbeach Rd intersection
Access to local businesses
Nerang station
Coomera Connector bridge
Coomera Connector shared path
Nerang-Broadbeach Road

View the Stage 1 reference design overview map (PDF, 604KB) for more information about the reference design and confirmed interchanges.

Walking and cycling

A shared path for walking and bike riding will be included along the full length of Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector. The path will provide a safe and connected walking and bike riding network for the northern Gold Coast area, increasing the opportunity for local communities to access new options for healthy and enjoyable outdoor exercise.

Click the orange hot spots on the image below to learn more about the Coomera Connector.

You're invited to share your ideas about the the design of the shared walking and bike path to facilitate desired local connections for the community.

View the online ideas wall and share your ideas now.

Concept of shared path for walking and bike riding at Helensvale, looking south
The Surrounds, Helensvale
Shared path for walking and bike riding
Public transport improvements
Country Club Drive, Helensvale
Landscaping and planting
Stage 1 Coomera Connector at Helensvale

Concept image of shared path near The Surrounds at Helensvale with Country Club Drive on the left and the southbound lanes of the Coomera Connector on the right.