Three information days are being held this month to update the community and other stakeholders on the proposed Southern Links Investigation Project.
This approximately $450M project is a NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) initiative in partnership with the Hamilton City Council. The Southern Links project involves approximately 21km of state highway, three new river crossings and 11km of urban arterial roads inside Hamilton's Peacocke growth area.
The long term aim of the project is to develop an effective network of well connected state highway and urban routes linking: SH1 from Kaihikatea Drive in Hamilton to the Waikato Expressway at Tamahere in the southeast; and SH3 from Hamilton international Airport to central and east Hamilton. The purpose of this joint investigation is to identify and protect the routes which could connect these points and provide the corridors for future construction.
NZTA State Highway Manager, Kaye Clark, says the benefits of this initiative would see better linkage and access across and in and out of Hamilton City and surrounding districts for all motorists, which supports the region's growth strategy by enabling more efficient movement of people and freight. "Those benefits would include enabling economic growth, reducing travel times, improving road safety, reducing congestion and creating further opportunities for Waikato communities."
Mrs Clark says the information days, which build upon those held in April and November/December last year, provide a further opportunity for people to talk directly to the project team and give feedback on the details of the preferred network. "The project team has been consulting with Waipa and Waikato District Council staff and the airport to refine the preferred network. A key aim is to ensure that the connectivity of the local road network for residents and businesses continues to operate well into the future and supports links with state highways. These refinements to the Southern Links network will be explained at the information days."
"There'll also be more detail available around the location of the network, including the width of the proposed project, the properties that will be affected and the types of measures that could be employed to mitigate effects such as noise. Display material will show how the various interchanges and intersections will look," says Mrs Clark.
Hamilton Mayor, Julie Hardaker, says that the project is important because it gives the community the opportunity to participate in planning for roads through one of Hamilton's growth areas. "The city is growing and development of this link to the south of the city has been talked about for many years. It's important we make sure we have the transport routes that work for the benefit of the city."
"We'd encourage as many people as possible to come along and take advantage of this chance to talk to the project team directly," adds NZTA State Highway Manager, Kaye Clark. "The project team has been very aware throughout the investigation process of the need to build certainty for affected communities. These information days are an important step in that process. They are also a key part of ensuring our project team receives comprehensive feedback from all parties with an interest in the Southern Links project."
Southern Links Information Days
Further information about this project is available online at www.nzta.govt.nz/southern-links(external link).