Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has pledged $1 billion towards an upgrade on Queensland's Gateway Motorway to avoid any more tolls on the major route.

Mr Abbott made the funding commitment with Acting Premier Jeff Seeney in Brisbane on Tuesday, promising to have the upgrade completed within 12 months of taking office.

"If we have cranes over our cities and bulldozers going on the ground, people will know that our country is going ahead and that's what I want," he said.

Mr Seeney said the state couldn't afford the $1.3 billion upgrade on its own.

Just last week, it warned that if the federal government didn't stump up cash for the upgrade, the work might have to be delayed for several years, or tolls increased to fund it.

On Tuesday, Mr Abbott said the 80 per cent funding pledge from the opposition, if elected, would ensure the upgrade went ahead without additional tolls.

"The coalition is going to do that," he said.

"The incumbent government in Canberra has made no such commitment."

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