All four lanes of the Longswamp section of the Waikato Expressway will be open to traffic later this week.
The 5.9km Longswamp section – which has seen State Highway 1 widened from 2-3 lanes to four lanes, with side and central safety barriers – links the completed Meremere section in the north at Hampton Downs, to the completed Rangiriri section in the south at the Te Kauwhata interchange.
“We are very pleased to have Longswamp open on all four lanes before Christmas. We still have some final surfacing work to complete early next year but having holiday traffic spread across the new lanes has been a priority,” says Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Waikato Portfolio Manager Darryl Coalter.
South-bound traffic will be at 100km/h, but north-bound will have a speed restriction of 70km/h until the final asphalt surfacing is completed in the new year.
Construction started in early 2017, building the south-bound lanes first. With traffic running on those new lanes, earthworks, drainage and road building have been under way on the north-bound lanes for the past year.
The project has also involved strengthening local road networks, including extending Whangamarino Road across the expressway. This connects communities east and west of the highway, with all access now from the Hampton Downs or Te Kauwhata interchanges.
“This section of SH1 has long had a poor safety record, so this widening and barrier work provides huge benefits for road users. We have also removed sideroads and driveways from SH1, which means local people can come and go from their properties without interacting with state highway users,” Mr Coalter says.
“I want to thank local people and highway users for their patience while we get this project finished.”
To read the most recent update, and a graphic showing the local road connections, visit:
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