The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has awarded a contract that will progress the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway.
A three-year $6.8m contract has been awarded to Hamilton-based company, Bloxham, Burnett and Olliver (BBO) to complete investigation and design of the Huntly section of the expressway.
The 15.2km Huntly section is scheduled for completion by 2019 and will pass through the Taupiri Range to the east of Huntly. It will connect with the completed Ohinewai section in the north and the Ngaruawahia section in the south, which is due for completion in 2014. By 2015 the two largest sections of the expressway (Hamilton and Huntly) will be ready for construction and all other sections will either be completed or under construction.
The work is part of the development of the Waikato Expressway, one of seven key state highway routes identified by Government as Roads of National Significance, and the key strategic transport corridor for the Waikato region. When the Waikato Expressway is completed in 2019 it will stretch from the top of the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty. The expressway will improve economic growth and productivity for Auckland, Waikato, and the Bay of Plenty through more efficient movement of people and freight.
Waikato District Council Mayor Peter Harris said the council enjoyed a close working relationship with the NZTA and were pleased with the progress of the expressway. “To see one of the two largest sections set into action is very heartening indeed."
NZTA Regional Director Harry Wilson said the NZTA and BBO would work closely with the council, local iwi, affected landowners and stakeholders to progress the design in this culturally and environmentally significant area.
“When complete, the Huntly section will improve road safety taking large volumes of through traffic out of Huntly and away from the Urupa on Taupiri Mountain, reducing journey times and increasing journey reliability between the Waikato and Auckland.”