Five options for key State Highway 1 route in the Waikato

The long-term options for improvements to State Highway 1 between Cambridge and Piarere have been narrowed down to five, and the public is being invited to let us know their preferred choice.

The NZ Transport Agency is investigating long-term safety and efficiency improvements to the stretch of highway from the southern end of the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway up to and including the SH1/29 intersection at Piarere.

The options range from minor changes to the existing State Highway to development of a full four-lane expressway. The expressway options could be developed along the existing road or on a completely new road.

People can look at the options and provide feedback via an on-line survey(external link). They can also attend a public information day at the Karapiro Hall on 9 March, between 2pm and 7pm, to discuss the short-listed options with the project team.

Five people died and 14 were seriously injured in crashes on this section of highway from 2011 to 2015.

Short-term safety improvements will be put in place while the long-term investigation continues.

The Transport Agency’s Waikato Highways Manager Niclas Johansson says this work will help to reduce the number of ordinary people affected by deaths and serious injuries on this road.

'Our immediate priority is to make this key tourism and freight route safer for everyone who uses it, so the short-term safety work will start in May, but the long-term work still needs more input from the public.

'The results we’ve had so far are telling us people want to see changes, but we want to come up with the best solution together, so have your say on our website or at the open day next month,' Mr Johansson says.

The short term work begins in May and will include creating a wide centre line over the majority of the route to reduce head on crashes and installing side barriers in high-risk areas, to reduce the impact of run-off road crashes. Other improvements will see a right-turn bay at Keeley’s Landing and visibility improvements at selected intersections.

The short term work is part of the government’s Safer Roads and Roadsides Programme targeting 90 high-risk sites on rural state highways nationally.

People can view the latest project update, look at the options and take part in the latest survey at link).