Waikato road­ing project ramps up

Hamilton Metro News - - News -

Work will start on the most com­plex and highly an­tic­i­pated sec­tion of the Waikato Expressway this month.

The 21.8km Hamil­ton sec­tion of the expressway is the largest road­ing project in the Waikato’s his­tory.

The Trans­port Agency board ap­proved $973 mil­lion to fund the project which in­cludes 17 bridges, five new in­ter­changes and walk­ing and cy­cle paths. A restora­tion strat­egy will be de­vel­oped for num­ber of Hamil­ton’s gully sys­tems.

Prime Min­is­ter John Key and Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges turned the first sod at a cer­e­mony last week that in­cluded NZ Trans­port Agency and lo­cal coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives, project staff, landown­ers and Waikato-Tainui.

The Trans­port Agency’s Hamil­ton high­ways man­ager Kaye Clark says the Hamil­ton sec­tion is the fi­nal and most com­plex piece of the Waikato Expressway puz­zle.

“The Hamil­ton sec­tion is the big­gest road­ing project in Waikato’s his­tory— a stretch of road that will make a real dif­fer­ence to safety and ef­fi­ciency when it opens in 2020,” Mrs Clark says.

“The project is highly an­tic­i­pated and sup­ported by the Waikato com­mu­nity and we are ex­cited to get un­der­way on what will be a huge job. Up to 600 peo­ple will be work­ing on­site to get the road open.”

Mrs Clark says the Trans­port Agency has worked closely with Hamil­ton City Coun­cil, Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil, Waikato Tainui and mem­bers of Ngaati Koroki Kahukura, Ngaati Hauaa, Ngaati Wairere and Ngati Mahanga.

Waikato-Tainui chief ex­ec­u­tive Parekawhia McLean says Waika­toTainui con­tin­ues to work to en­sure the expressway re­flects the as­pi­ra­tions of the tribe.

“To­gether with our lo­cal peo­ple, we have de­vel­oped a com­pre­hen­sive mit­i­ga­tion plan that cov­ers en­vi­ron­men­tal and waahi tapu pro­tec­tion, train­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment,” she says. “We have a num­ber of marae peo­ple work­ing along­side the project ar­chae­ol­o­gists, mon­i­tor­ing and record­ing his­tor­i­cal sites and col­lect­ing and pro­tect­ing his­tor­i­cal arte­facts.”

Tainui Group Hold­ings chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Joblin says con­nec­tions be­tween the Hamil­ton sec­tion and Ruakura lo­gis­tics hub will bring Auck­land, Hamil­ton and Tau­ranga closer.

“Planned con­nec­tions be­tween the Hamil­ton sec­tion and our new Ruakura lo­gis­tics and life­style hub will un­lock a smoother flow of peo­ple and freight within the golden tri­an­gle of Auck­land, Hamil­ton and Tau­ranga.”.

All seven sec­tions of the Waikato Expressway are sched­uled to be com­plete in 2020. The com­pleted Expressway will re­duce jour­ney time be­tween Auck­land to south of Cam­bridge by up to 35 min­utes, im­prove freight con­nec­tions , sup­port eco­nomic growth and sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove safety.


An artist’s im­pres­sion of the Ruakura in­ter­change.

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