The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Hamilton City Council (HCC) have commenced the investigation phase of Hamilton's proposed Southern Links project.
The long-term aim of the project is to develop an effective network of well connected state highway and urban arterial routes linking SH1 from Kahikatea Drive in Hamilton city to the Waikato Expressway at Tamahere in the southeast, and SH3 from Hamilton International Airport to central and east Hamilton.
While these connection points are known, the routes between them have not yet been determined. The purpose of the Southern Links investigation is to identify and designate the best routes that will connect these points and protect the future transport network south of Hamilton.
The proposed Southern Links project involves 32 kilometres of future transport network, including two new crossings of the Waikato River, 21km of state highway and 11km of urban arterial roads in the city’s Peacocke structure plan area. The urban arterials will establish the key transport network within the Peacocke growth cell and become the building blocks for future urban development.
A newsletter about the Southern Links investigation has been distributed to properties in the project area and is available on the NZTA website at: www.nzta.govt.nz/southern-links(external link). People who would like to receive an electronic copy of the newsletter can arrange to have one emailed to them by phoning 0508 7846 5465 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Project consultants Aecom NZ will be contacting selected landowners over the coming weeks to arrange property access for survey and site investigations, and a public information day is scheduled to be held around March/April next year.
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker says the investigation is timely as Council is currently undertaking a substantial review of the city’s district plan.
“The Southern Links investigation will help planning for the long-term needs of Hamilton’s southern sector, particularly the projected growth and development in the Peacocke and Hamilton Airport area.”
NZTA State Highway Manager Kaye Clark says the joint investigation with HCC will review the possible Southern Links route options and consider freight transport, public transport, rail, walking/cycling, utility services, and both current and future land use. Extensive site assessments and public consultation will be undertaken to determine the best routes and design options for the proposed new transport corridors.
Mrs Clark says, “Designating the Southern Links routes in the Hamilton, Waipa and Waikato District Plans will secure a critical transport corridor and provide certainty for local residents and developers.”
The Southern Links investigation will take approximately two and half years to complete, including formal Resource Management processes to designate state highway and city arterial roads.