The NZ Transport Agency is advising southbound motorists on SH1 to prepare for a detour at Rangiriri on Saturday as work begins on the Rangiriri Interchange as part of the Waikato Expressway, Road of National Significance.
Between 7am and 7pm southbound traffic will be diverted off SH1 and onto Rangiriri Road, passing through Rangiriri town and rejoining SH1 at the existing intersection of Rangiriri Road and SH1.
The detour is the first significant traffic management change for the project and will allow for the construction of the two major interchanges of the Rangiriri Section of the Expressway. The next major traffic management change will occur in September.
Saturday’s detour will see Fletcher Construction establish concrete barriers on the southbound side of SH1. A temporary speed of 80km/h will be in place once the concrete barriers are in place.
Subject to good weather, this work is expected to be completed in one day, however, the work may extend to Sunday if required.
The barriers will help to separate motorists from construction activity while a temporary road for SH1 traffic is built.
NZTA, Acting Project Services Manager Peter Simcock says later this year traffic will then be diverted onto the temporary road, running alongside SH1 at Rangiriri, until the new interchange is complete.
Mr Simcock says the Transport Agency would like to thank motorists for their patience while the Rangiriri project is underway.
“There’s quite a challenging roundabout to be built as part of the Rangiriri Interchange and the temporary road will allow contractors the room they need for this to happen.”
The next traffic management change in September will see traffic reduced to one lane heading north from Rangiriri to just past the intersection of SH1 and Te Kauwhata Road. This is to allow room for the construction of the Te Kauwhata Interchange.
“We’ve worked hard on our traffic management plans to ensure any delays for the travelling public on SH1 are kept to a minimum and that they are kept safe while the project is underway,” Mr Simcock says.
“Completing this section of the Expressway is another important step towards completing the entire project. It will also make the journey significantly safer both for local traffic travelling between Te Kauwhata and Rangiriri and for all motorists on SH1.”
The Rangiriri Section of the Waikato Expressway has a value of $105 million and is being built by Fletcher Construction.
It consists of 4.8km of four lane median divided highway and includes two interchanges, one at Rangiriri and one at Te Kauwhata.
The project will see the current SH1 realigned to the west, away from the Rangiriri Pa site.
The Waikato Expressway sections are currently at the stages described below:
Pokeno and Mercer sections totalling 22.6km are completed
Longswamp – construction to start in 2016, completed by 2018
Rangiriri – under construction, completed by late 2016
Ohinewai section of 7.0km is completed
Huntly section of 15.2km is now being investigated and designed
Ngaruawahia section of 12.3km is under construction, completion late 2013
Te Rapa section of 8km is complete
Hamilton section of 21.8km is now being investigated and designed
Tamahere interchange of 2.4km is completed
Cambridge section of 16km has been awarded to HEB Construction and is expected to start construction in late 2013
The Waikato Expressway will provide for two lanes of traffic in each direction divided by a central barrier with local roads and interchanges generally serviced by bridges and underpasses. The Expressway will be 102 km in length from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge - some 6km shorter than the current State Highway 1.
More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/waikato-expressway(external link) or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/waikatoexpressway(external link).
The Waikato Expressway is part of the NZTA’s roads of national significance programme (RoNS for short), which represents one of New Zealand’s biggest ever infrastructure investments. Once completed, the seven RoNS routes will reduce congestion in and around our five largest metropolitan areas, and will move people and freight between and within these centers more safely and efficiently. Other RoNS are: Puhoi to Wellford, Auckland’s Western Ring Route, Auckland’s Victoria Park Tunnel (completed in 2012), Waikato Expressway, Wellington Northern Corridor, and Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons(external link).