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Waikato Expressway

Updated: 7 November 2014

The Waikato Expressway project will improve safety and reliability and reduce travel times and congestion on SH1 by delivering a four-lane highway from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge. The Expressway is being built in seven sections.

Waikato Expressway

The Waikato Expressway will provide 102km of continuous divided four-lane highway and reduce the length of State Highway 1 by 6km. It will provide a further 12km of new or upgraded links and a new bridge over the Waikato River north of Hamilton.

Schematic map

View larger map (PDF, 1.2MB)

Overview

The Expressway will improve economic growth and productivity for Auckland, Waikato, and the Bay of Plenty through more efficient movement of people and freight. Increased capacity will make the route safer and will move through-traffic away from smaller communities like Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Cambridge. This will reduce congestion in those townships and provide journey time savings to through traffic of up to 35 minutes. Important cultural and historic sites such as the Urupa on Taupiri Mountain and Rangiriri Pa will benefit from the improvements provided by the Expressway. The Expressway will provide route safety and faster travel times for tourists driving between Auckland and popular sites in Waitomo, Taupo, Rotorua and further south.

Benefits

The Waikato Expressway will:

  • improve economic growth and productivity for Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty through more efficient movement of people and freight between Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua
  • improve the reliability of the transport network through a more robust and safer road between Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua
  • reduce travel times between Waikato and Auckland
  • support the growth strategy for the central Waikato.

The individual sections of the Expressway are at the stages described below (as at July 2014):

  • Pokeno and Mercer sections totalling 22.6km are completed and open.
  • Longswamp section of 5.9km. Being investigated and designed. Target opening late 2018.
  • Rangiriri section of 4.4km. Under construction. Opens late 2016.
  • Ohinewai section of 7.0km is completed and open.
  • Huntly section of 15.2km. Finalising consenting process, construction due to begin 2015. Target opening 2019.
  • Ngaruawahia section of 12.3km. Completed and opened December 2013.
  • Te Rapa section of 7.3km. Completed, opened December 2012.
  • Hamilton section of 21.8km. Being investigated and designed. Target opening 2019.
  • Tamahere interchange of 2.4km is complete and open.
  • Cambridge section of 16km. Under construction. Opens late 2016.

Waikato Expressway map - cartoon style

Waikato Expressway Map - cartoon style.