$1.8 billion is forecast to be invested in Waikato in the 2021–24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) period. This will provide a safe, accessible land transport system, that underpins Waikato’s valuable economic contribution and importance as a regional hub. 

Waikato NLTP 2022 update

Graphic showing 1.8 billion forecast investment

Latest news

Two people on bikes riding across a wooden bridge in the forest

Te Awa River ride completed

The final section of the Te Awa River ride was completed in late 2022 and a celebration event was held in March 2023. The Te Awa shared path is a 65km route between Lake Karapiro and Ngaruawahia and provides a safe and accessible shared path for communities and visitors.

Te Awa Cambridge to Hamilton shared path

Trucks and cars travelling through a road under construction

Final section of Waikato Expressway completed

Decades in the planning, six years in the building - the final section of the Waikato Expressway was opened to the traffic in July 2022.

Waikato Expressway

A technical plan showing improvements to be made at an intersection

SH1C Cobham Drive and Cambridge Road intersection improvements

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is upgrading the intersection of SH1C Cobham Drive and Cambridge Road, making it safer for everyone and improving traffic flows in this busy Hamilton city neighbourhood.

SH1C Cobham Drive and Cambridge Road intersection improvements

A rural road going over a bridge

SH26 Onetai bridge replacement

The Onetai Bridge is located north of Paeroa and carries SH26 over the Onetai Stream, linking the greater Waikato region with the Coromandel Peninsula.

Waka Kotahi has investigated options for the new bridge and is now working through the final design of the chosen option.

SH26 Onetai bridge replacement

Major work underway

Map showing location of key projects in the Waikato region

View larger map [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Waikato Expressway

The Waikato Expressway was completed in July when the last of the seven sections opened. It improves safety and reliability and reduces travel times and congestion on SH1 by delivering a four-lane highway from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge.

Waikato Expressway

SH1 Cambridge to Piarere

Safety improvements have started on the SH1 Cambridge to Piarere, with planning also underway for additional stages. The NZ UP SH1/29 intersection project is working through land purchasing and consenting to construct a new roundabout.

SH1 Cambridge to Piarere

SH1 Taupo projects

Resealing work on SH1 Hātepe Hill has recently been finished. Work to install flexible median safety barriers and roadside barriers on SH1 between Maroa Road and Tram Road is expected to start in the coming months, making the road safer.

SH1 Taupō projects

SH39 Mangaotama Stream Bridge

Through June 2022, Mangaotama Stream Bridge is closed to allow the bridge’s deck and beams to be replaced. The upgrade work will give traffic a safer route over the Mangaotama Stream

SH39 Mangaotama Stream Bridge closed 13 June to 26 June

SH3 Awakino Gorge to Mt Messenger programme

Sealing work on the Awakino Tunnel Bypass alignment and stabilisation of the passing lane area east of the car park has been completed, improving safety, resilience and route availability.

SH3 Awakino Gorge to Mt Messenger programme

SH30 Kōpaki Rail overbridge replacement

Construction is underway on a replacement Kōpaki Rail Overbridge on SH3. The new bridge will offer greater visibility for turning traffic and is scheduled to open in April 2023.

SH30 Kōpaki rail overbridge replacement

SH25 Pepe Stream Bridge replacement

Pepe Stream Bridge was built in 1942 and needs replaced. We’re investigating options for replacement and working through a business case.

SH25 Pepe Stream Bridge replacement

Safety improvement programme – feasibility studies 

As part of the delivery of New Zealand’s road safety strategy, Road to Zero, Waka Kotahi has identified two Waikato corridors and six intersections where safety improvements could make a big difference in saving lives. 

Feasibility studies are underway to assess the scope, cost, risk and timeframes of these safety improvements. These studies will inform the decision of whether to progress the project to the next stages. Funding will need to be applied for beyond the feasibility phase. 


  • SH5 Tirau to Tārukenga Marae Rd – additional optioneering identified for the feasibility stage has meant this study is now expected to be completed mid-2022.  Following the completion of this stage the next step is applying for funding for detailed design.  
  • SH29 Piarere to SH28 – study completed and going through the approvals process. Next step is applying for funding for detailed design. 


  • SH2 and SH27, SH23 and 39, SH3 and Raynes Road and SH3 and SH4 intersection – studies completed March 2022, next step is to apply for funding for detailed design. 
  • SH1 and Grey Street and SH1 Kahikatea Drive and Greenwood St – feasibility studies currently underway. 

Maintenance update

Maintenance activity undertaken during 2022/23

  • Rehabilitation (completely rebuilding the road) – 12.8 lane km
  • Resurfacing (replacing asphalt) – 27.6 lane km
  • Resealing (adding new layer of chipseal) – 255.9 lane km
  • SCRIM resealing (improving skid resistance) – 14.6 lane km
  • Total state highway network renewed – 7.9%
  • Total state highway maintenance spend – $106.1m

Maintenance summary infographic for Waikato 2022/23 [PDF, 878 KB]

Planned maintenance for 2023/24

  • Rehabilitations – 37.1 lane km
  • Resurfacing – 28.2 lane km
  • Resealing – 422.5 lane km
  • SCRIM – 8.3 lane km
  • Percentage of network to be renewed –12.8%
  • Total state highway spend – $150.9m

Planned maintenance infographic for Waikato 2024/24 [PDF, 1.1 MB]


Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency sought feedback on its speed management plan for state highways. Submissions closed on 12 December 2022.  A decision report will be available mid-2023.

Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan consultation