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Project introduction

Safety at a high risk intersection – State Highway 1 and State Highway 29 at Piarere – will be improved with construction of a new roundabout to replace the existing T-intersection.

  • Estimated project cost

    $40 million
  • Project type

    Road improvements
  • Project status

    Design

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Purpose of the project

In January 2020 the NZ Upgrade Programme announced funding to upgrade the intersection of SH1 and SH29 at Piarere. This will improve safety on a high-volume traffic route, which is one of New Zealand’s most critical corridors. The new roundabout will be designed to allow connection with a potential future expressway between Cambridge and Piarere.

SH1 Cambridge to Piarere project

Benefits

Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty are part of the Upper North Island’s Golden Triangle, home to more than half of New Zealand’s population. The transport corridors in these regions are critical to support the safe travel of a growing number of visitors and residents, and to get goods to market.

State Highway 1 (SH1) between Cambridge and Piarere is part of the key journeys which link Auckland and Hamilton with Tauranga, specifically the Port of Tauranga via State Highway 29 (SH29), as well as central and lower North Island via SH1. 

The new intersection roundabout layout will:

  • improve safety for motorists and active mode users using the State Highway 1 and 29 intersection to minimise deaths and serious injury.
  • accommodate any future extension of the Waikato Expressway from Cambridge to Piarere and any future walking and cycling connections.
  • improve the network’s resilience and reliability.

Between 1 December 2015 and 30 November 2020, there were 21 crashes within 50m of the SH1/29 T-intersection resulting in two fatalities, and 12 injury crashes. The high number of crashes reflects risks taken by road users responding to the intersection layout.

Latest news

The plans for the roundabout at the busy and high-risk SH1/SH29 junction, replacing the existing T-intersection, went through the Environment Court on 5-8 September 2022. We now await the decision, and discussions with affected landowners are continuing. The start date for construction will be dependent on the Court decision and land acquisition negotiations. It is anticipated construction of this project will take two years to complete.