The State Highway 1 (SH1) Cambridge to Piarere Long Term Improvements Project is a 16km long four-lane expressway extending from the southern end of the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway to the intersection of SH1 and SH29 at Piarere.
The indicative alignment for the project broadly follows the existing SH1 from the end of the Waikato Expressway to Karapiro Road. Near Karapiro Road the alignment deviates onto a new offline corridor that sits approximately 1km north of the existing SH1 and ends at the SH1/SH29 intersection.
View larger map [PDF, 1.2 MB]
The key components currently being proposed are:
- The road will have 4 lanes for its entire length of approximately 16 kms and be expressway standard design with central median and wide shoulders (similar to the Cambridge Section of the Waikato Expressway).
- There will be no direct access for properties onto SH1. All property access will be from existing roads or new local roads adjacent to the alignment where required.
- Local roads will be located on both sides of main alignment of the Project, between the existing end of the Cambridge Section of the Waikato Expressway and the proposed Karāpiro interchange.
- Four bridges are proposed on the main alignment, one at the proposed interchange, two over ecologically sensitive environments and one over a stream.
- Central and roadside barriers will be constructed along the full length.
- A full diamond-shaped, grade-separated interchange will be located south-east of the existing SH1 and Karāpiro Road intersection. The local roads will provide better connections for local communities and reduce impacts of roading infrastructure near the Waikato River.
- A bridge will go over an extension of Tunakawa Road for private property access.
The next stages of the project
The next step, which is where the project is now, is to secure route protection. This involves processes under the Resource Management Act to allow Waka Kotahi to require designations and to obtain regional resource consents to ensure we are ready to proceed if and when funding is made available.
Once route protection is secured, funding must be confirmed (see points below). Then the next stages include detailed design, tendering and construction.
Route protection: completing concept design
Route protection of the preferred route entails Waka Kotahi completing a concept design. To create the concept design, there is a lot of detailed work underway in areas such as identifying and addressing environmental effects including ecological, landscaping, urban design, groundwater, archaeology, air quality, vibration and noise. This will result in a number of design plans which will form part of the Notices of Requirements (NOR) and consent applications.
Based on those concept designs, Waka Kotahi will seek consents and notify its requirements for designations under the Resource Management Act (RMA).
In May 2022, the preferred road alignment was shared with affected landowners.
Route protection: public consultation prior to lodgement
The public will have the opportunity to see the design plans and to discuss the project with members of the team before the required documentation is submitted to the councils. A public information session in Cambridge will be held soon, anticipated to be 17 November 2022.
Route protection: public participation in the RMA process
Waka Kotahi will then proceed to finalise the required documentation for protecting this route for the future.
Notices of Requirement (NoRs) will be lodged with Waipā District Council and Matamata-Piako District Council. At the same time, Waka Kotahi will lodge resource consent applications with the Waikato Regional Council.
When we lodge these, we will request that they are publicly notified. This means that any member of the public can make a submission to the councils with respect to the notice of requirement or the consent applications and participate in the process.
We will update everyone on our email database and through a website update when we have a definite date as to when lodgement will be.
Funding not yet allocated for further project stages
No funding has yet been allocated for construction of the 16km expressway between Cambridge and Piarere and is not expected until later in the decade. However, route protection is a very important step to ensure we are ready to proceed if and when funding is made available.
The total cost of the project is currently estimated to be approximately $635m. There is no funding available in the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) to prioritise this project for detailed design and construction before the 2027–2030 period.
Cambridge to Piarere - detailed business case [PDF, 14 MB]