New Zealand

1 Jan, 2021 04:00 PM

NZTA is using the new method in three sections of the Waikato Expressway worth $1.1 billion. Video / NZTA

This time next summer, motorists will be able to skip Hamilton on a new section of highway.

No more deciding how to tackle local roads, roundabouts and sets of traffic lights; no more Gordonton Rd

The 16km section between Hamilton and Cambridge opened in 2015 and the Rangiriri section followed in 2017.

That just leaves the completion of the 21.8km, $607 million Hamilton bypass that starts at the Lake Rd junction with the Ngaruawahia section in the north. It then runs south, roughly along the border of the Hamilton City and Waikato District council areas, to the east of Hamilton.

Anyone familiar with long-running roadworks just south of Hamilton at Tamahere will not be surprised that is where the new expressway connects with SH1.

From there, it’s a nice drive on the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway, one of two sections of motorway in New Zealand with a 110km/h speed limit. (The other is the Tauranga east link toll road.)

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency acting delivery project delivery manager Jo Wilton says all but one of the structures for the Hamilton section – 17 bridges and five interchanges – have been built. Only an underpass at Powells Rd is still under construction.

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