The Australian State of Queensland has inaugurated a 7km motorway north of the Gateway Bridge as part of the ongoing $1.88bn Gateway upgrade project.

The newly opened section will provide a direct route to the north of the Brisbane River reducing congestion on the route.

The motorway will also make easy access to the Eagle Farm and Pinkenba areas through a new off-ramp to Kingsford Smith Drive for motorists travelling north.

Full benefits of the motorway will, however, only be realised when the new Airport Interchange opens in 2009, say city transport officials.

The total Gateway upgrade project to improve infrastructure between the Gateway bridges, Brisbane Airport and Nudgee Road, is expected to be complete by early 2011.

The work is being carried out by Leighton Abigroup Joint Venture with funds from the government.