Whangamarino Road Bridge which connects communities over a new section of the Waikato Expressway opened today.
The Whangamarino Road Bridge overbridge is a key part of the 5.9km Longswamp section of the expressway, north of Te Kauwhata.
Longswamp will open to four-lane traffic next year but the completion of the overbridge means the communities divided by SH1 will be safely reconnected without needing to access the expressway.
Director Regional Relationships Parekawhia McLean says this is a big milestone for the Longswamp project team and for the people in this area.
“We are really pleased to get these road extensions and the bridge open, especially to allow local people to travel with ease rather than using a detour,” says Ms Mclean.
“The occasion was marked with a morning karakia (blessing) by local mana whenua Ngati Naho from Waikato-Tainui.
“Strengthening the local road network and connections via the bridge greatly improves safety for local people living between Te Kauwhata and Hampton Downs.
On the eastern side, Whangamarino Road has been extended south to Paddy Road and over the expressway to connect to Summertime Land and Rodda Road on the western side, while Rodda Road has been extended to connect the Te Kauwhata interchange.
“The bridge isn’t just for vehicles, we have also created a wide footpath that allows pedestrains and cyclists to cross.
The Longswamp section is part of the 102km Waikato Expressway. It connects the completed Mercer-Meremere section to the north with the completed Rangiriri section to the south and involves widening the existing SH1 highway.
“It is great to reach another milestone in the construction of the Waikato Expressway,” says Ms McLean.