The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) says relief is in sight for Hamilton motorists who have been experiencing delays in the north of the city as a number of road projects, including the Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway, enter their final stages of construction.
The agency is thanking motorists for their patience in the final weeks leading up to the opening of the Te Rapa section of the expressway.
NZTA Waikato State Highways Manager Kaye Clark says the NZTA’s work at Te Rapa and work being carried out by Hamilton City Council on the Ring Road at Wairere Drive and The Base was placing considerable pressure on the local road network.
“We understand that this work is an inconvenience for motorists and we’d really like to thank them for their patience. We are doing all we can to try and minimise these delays.
“We’d also like to remind motorists to plan their journeys while this work is being completed over the next few weeks. If you can avoid this area and peak traffic times in the morning and early evening please do so,” Mrs Clark says.
Mrs Clark says the end is in sight for the Te Rapa section for the Expressway, which will be formally opened on Saturday, December 1 at a community event including ribbon cutting by the Rt Honourable John Key. The road will then open to traffic on Monday, December 3.The new expressway will replace the existing State Highway 1 north of the city.
Once the expressway is open it is expected that delays being experienced, particularly at the new traffic signals at the intersection of Ruffell Road and State Highway 1, will also be alleviated.
The traffic signals were installed at the Ruffell Road intersection to ensure safe and efficient access for traffic that has been diverted to the intersection, following the closure of Te Kowhai Road, as part of the construction of the Te Rapa section.
“Queues and delays in this area will be much less than are being experienced now when the expressway is open,” Mrs Clark says.
Work has also been underway finishing planting and drainage at the Horotiu roundabouts on the Te Rapa section. Contractor for the Te Rapa section, Fulton Hogan, has moved to ensure both lanes of the roundabouts would be open during peak hour traffic in the morning and early evening.
Mrs Clark said the NZTA and Hamilton City Council were working closely together to minimise the delays for motorists.
See also the Waikato Expressway website(external link).