The Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway has shaved about seven minutes off commuters' travel times between Horotiu and Avalon Drive since it opened to traffic on December 3.
NZ Transport Agency, Waikato Expressway Principal Project Manager, Richard Young, says travel time savings of about 3.5 minutes during peak traffic times in the mornings and afternoons have been recorded.
"We’re extremely pleased with the final result. The new road is delivering real time savings for all motorists, along with making the journey safer. In total it takes about seven minutes off commuters’ journey each day. That is a significant time saving and also a saving on fuel costs." Mr Young says.
Mr Young says the new section, was also reducing the amount of traffic using Te Rapa Road. The data showed motorists were saving about 2 minutes on their journey along Te Rapa Road.
Mr Young says this is attributable to the reduction in traffic in the area. Figures show that 90 per cent of through traffic is now using the new section.
The new road, named Mangaharakeke Drive, was completed six months ahead of schedule and under budget by the Te Rapa Alliance made up of the NZTA, Opus International Consultants and Fulton Hogan.
The project is one of seven sections of the Waikato Expressway, one of the Government’s Roads of National Significance. The entire 102km Expressway is expected to reduce the travel time between Auckland and Tirau by 35 minutes.
Mr Young says the completion of the Te Rapa section was a significant milestone in the construction of the entire Waikato Expressway project.
"This is an important piece of infrastructure not only for Hamilton but also for the Waikato region and for New Zealand, as it is central to providing safer and more efficient transport links between the business and freight hubs of Waikato, Auckland and Tauranga," Mr Young says.
"Importers, exporters, tourism operators and commuters will also all benefit from have faster more efficient connections between the Waikato and Auckland."