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Project introduction

The Longswamp section of the Waikato Expressway links the already completed Mercer section (just south of the Hampton Downs Interchange) to the Rangiriri section to the south. This project involves the upgrading of 5.9km of SH1 to full expressway standard.

  • Estimated project cost

    $96 million
  • Project type

    4-Laning, Roads of National Significance
  • Project status


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When complete the Waikato Expressway will be the key strategic transport corridor for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty. The expressway will improve economic growth and productivity through more efficient movement of people and freight.


  • reducing travel times between Auckland and Cambridge by 35 minutes

  • reducing significantly the number of fatal and serious injury crashes

  • reducing fuel costs

  • reducing traffic congestion within smaller communities like Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Cambridge

  • increasing the highway's capacity and passing opportunities.

Key features

The Waikato Expressway will be 102km long, running from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge. It will provide for two lanes of traffic in each direction divided by a central median barrier. Local roads and interchanges will generally be serviced by bridges and underpasses.

The Longswamp section will:

  • connect the already completed Mercer to Longswamp and Ohinewai sections of the expressway
  • improve connectivity from Auckland to Huntly and further south
  • improve safety, particularly for those using the Rangiriri and Te Kauwhata intersections.

Designation map

  • View map

    For a more detailed map showing the designated route click through one of the individual map boxes on the image below:

    Longswamp map overview Map 1 of 4 Map 2 of 4 Map 3 of 4 Map 4 of 4


Project stages

The Longswamp section is now in the construction phase. The contract to build the project has been awarded to Downer NZ Limited.

The project involves widening the current State Highway 1 to four lanes between the Hampton Downs Interchange and the Te Kauwhata Interchange which is being built as part of the Rangiriri section. It also includes a new local road bridge across the Expressway.

The new local road bridge will be built over the Expressway connecting Paddy Road to Summertime Lane. The new bridge will improve connections for the community across the Expressway and make them much safer.

  • The first stage: preliminary investigation

    The first stage was undertaken by Opus International Consultants for the NZ Transport Agency (then known as Transit New Zealand) between 1995 and 2000. This stage led to the section being designated in the Waikato District Plan in 1998 and finally confirmed in 2000. That process was fully notified with submissions heard by independent commissioners.

  • The second stage: secondary investigation

    The second stage started in October 2013 and included:

    • reviewing the preliminary design of the alignment that formed the basis of the designation, including reassessing it against the Transport Agency’s latest objectives and the latest safety and environmental standards. This will include detailed investigations of local road connectivity
    • undertaking more detailed geotechnical, engineering and environmental investigations to confirm the alignment, the amount of land required for it and what work will be required to meet conditions imposed on the designation
    • initial work on resource consents and any alteration to designation required for construction earthworks, stream crossings, stormwater drainage etc.

    Following this phase consents and alteration to designation for the Longswamp section were sought.

  • The third stage: detailed design

    The third stage followed on from the secondary investigation and involved development of  the design and project documentation to the point where a contract can be tendered..

  • The fourth stage: construction

    The fourth stage is construction which was awarded to Downer New Zealand Ltd in June 2016. . Construction is targeted to be completed in late2018.

  • The planned route

    Heading south it is planned that the 5.9km route will stay mostly within the existing highway corridor and comprise mainly of seal widening works and some minor realignment. Beyond Wayside Road, the expressway will join with the Rangiriri section currently under construction. It will connect the completed Mercer section to the north.

  • Interchanges

    A new local road bridge will be built over the Expressway connecting Paddy Road to Rodda and Hall Roads. The new bridge will improve connections for the community across the Expressway and make them much safer.