Construction to start on turnaround at SH1/Hydro Road


The next phase of the State Highway 1 Cambridge to Piarere Safety Improvements programme gets underway this month, as Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency starts construction of a turnaround bay at the intersection of SH1/Hydro Road, east of Cambridge.

Waka Kotahi Infrastructure Delivery Manager for Waikato Bay of Plenty, Jo Wilton, says the Hydro Road turnaround is the first of five turnarounds that will be constructed on SH1 between Cambridge and Piarere over the coming year, along with additional median barriers.

“Once the turnaround is completed, over 3kms of median barriers extending from the end of the Waikato Expressway to Hydro Road will be installed.

“We are working with local contractors J.Swap and doing everything possible to minimise the disruption for locals and visitors. This work has been timed to coincide with Ariki Street over the Karāpiro Dam being open until the end of July, offering Karāpiro Village residents and visitors an alternative route.

“This work will be disruptive, especially for residents in Karāpiro Village. While they can still turn left in and out of Hydro Road, they won’t be able to turn right. Alternative routes from Cambridge will be sign-posted and we are asking people to allow extra time for their journeys.

“We have a small window to complete the construction of this turnaround, otherwise it may not have been possible until next year. Weather working in our favour, we expect most of the work at the SH1 Hydro Road intersection to be completed by the time the dam access is closed,” says Ms Wilton.

With the construction crew onsite from 19 June, the recommended alternate routes are:

Cambridge to Karāpiro Village 
Light vehicles coming from Cambridge to Karāpiro Village take Maungatautari Road and Ariki Street (add 6-10 minutes to your journey).

Karāpiro Village to Piarere 
All vehicles (including heavy) heading south to Piarere from Hydro Road will need to turn left out of Hydro Road towards Cambridge, turn around at Shakespeare Street roundabout then continue south to Piarere (add 10-15 minutes to your journey).

There will be several nights of night works under Stop/Go traffic management while the site is established, and again in late July. The effect on SH1 traffic is expected to be minimal, although temporary speed limits will be in place near the work site.

Ms Wilton says there are some challenges with doing pavement work at this time of year and the team is moving to get it done as soon as possible.

“At this stage we are expecting the turnaround to take six to eight weeks but that is subject to weather. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause to residents and people travelling between Cambridge and Piarere and thank everyone for their patience while we work to make SH1 safer.”

The right turn out of Hydro Road onto SH1 towards Piarere will be reinstated after the turnaround is built, until the next turnaround is built north of Hickey Road, later in the year. At that point, the right turn out of Hydro Road onto SH1 will be closed.

Turnarounds are a key feature of the safety improvements underway on this stretch of highway.

“While you may need to drive a bit further to get to a turnaround, they offer a much safer right turning option for getting off and onto the highway and will provide better safety for people living and using the route,” says Ms Wilton.

To find out more go to

sketch map with signs and notes of the intersection

Hydro Road turnaround map.

View larger map [PDF, 1.2 MB]