Keeping you moving – SH1 Ngāruawāhia and Rangiriri


State Highway 1 travellers in north Waikato will be back on all four lanes at Rangiriri later this week where remedial works are wrapping up.

Investigations and repair of defects have been under way since mid-September on the 4.8km section of the Waikato Expressway, which opened to traffic in 2017. Defects are repaired prior to final surfacing work to ensure a smooth journey for road users

The job required extensive traffic management for highway users and local people coming and going from the expressway.

“This has been a difficult job, as investigation work –  once traffic had been moved off lanes ­– found repairs were more extensive in some places,” says Jo Wilton, Regional Manager of Infrastructure Delivery at the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi.

“So timelines and the programme have kept shifting. Road users have been very patient during the works and we thank them for their understanding.”

The highway will be back to four lanes later this week but with a temporary speed limit of 70km/h until final sealing later in the summer.

“The work we have done now needs traffic on it to bed in before final sealing,” says Ms Wilton.

Meanwhile, further south, work continues on repairs and safety improvements on the Ngāruawāhia section of the expressway.

The aim is to have the Ngāruawāhia section (between the Lake Road and Gordonton Road interchanges) upgraded to the same standard as neighbouring expressway sections which operate at 110km/h.

The project started last spring and progress has ramped up over the current construction season.

“An agreed design solution and work programme, along with more resources from the contractor, has seen work accelerated this season,” says Ms Wilton.

“In the last three months we have seen much more progress and people can expect that to continue as they widen and raise the highway.”

There will be only a brief break in work over the Christmas-New Year period, and the traffic management and temporary safety barriers will stay in place over the summer holidays.

“We did move the barriers last summer break and the site remained inactive until mid-February. That’s not the case this year and it would take a week of night closures in each direction to move the barriers so that is not an option.”

The current southbound night-time detours Sunday to Thursday wrap up shortly.

The Ngāruawāhia section opened in late 2013. It was built by Fletcher Construction under a design and construct contract. The current works are led by Fletcher Construction with the repair portion completed under a cost-sharing arrangement with Waka Kotahi.

The works are expected to finish in mid-2025 although Waka Kotahi and its contractors are continuing to look at programming and resources to have the work finished earlier.

Rangiriri repair works are wrapping up with traffic returning to all four lanes this week.