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Project introduction

The Hamilton section commences at the Lake Road junction with the Ngāruawāhia section in the north. It then runs south, to the east of Hamilton, connecting to the existing Tamahere interchange deviation just south of Hillcrest.

  • Estimated project cost

    $837 million
  • Project type

    Road improvements
  • Project status


Project updates

Cambridge Road on ramp opening soon
Media release,
SH1 Tamahere closures in May
Media release,
Upcoming Tamahere SH1 closures
Media release,
Hamilton section project update - March 2022
Project updates, (PDF)

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When complete the Waikato Expressway will be the key strategic transport corridor for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty. The expressway will improve economic growth and productivity through more efficient movement of people and freight.


  • reducing travel times between Auckland and Tirau by 35 minutes

  • reducing significantly the number of fatal and serious injury crashes

  • reducing fuel costs

  • reducing traffic congestion within smaller communities like Huntly, Ngāruawāhia and Cambridge

  • increasing the highway's capacity and passing opportunities.

Key features

The Waikato Expressway will be 102km in length running from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge. It 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 Hamilton section will:

  • connect the Ngāruawāhia section of the expressway, completed in late 2013, to the Cambridge section, completed in late 2015

  • reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on Hamilton’s local road network by significantly reducing through traffic

  • open to traffic in mid-2022.

Latest video

Hamilton section project update – March 2022

Hamilton section access and interchanges map

Designation mapping

The graphics here illustrate the designation associated with the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway as at 1 July 2014. 

Environmental management

Waka Kotahi is committed to improving the contribution state highways make to the environment and social wellbeing of New Zealand by:

  • protecting and enhancing the environment

  • using and managing resources efficiently

  • considering environmental issues early

  • Contributing to sustainable outcomes by working with others

  • continually improving environmental performance.

  • Noise control

    Noise levels will comply with the latest standards. Measures used will include:

    • monitoring of noise during construction and advance notification of any unavoidably noisy construction activity
    • haul routes for moving materials will be away from main roads and sensitive residential areas wherever practicable
    • landscaped buffer zones and noise barriers to protect local residents, businesses and sensitive areas from road noise.
  • Visual impact, landscaping and environmental measures

    Careful consideration will be given to native wildlife and habitats, in order to minimise impact and disruption.

    Landscaping and planting will be used to mitigate the visual impacts of the new road and create a pleasant environment for both road users and others.

    Culverts will be used and plans developed to manage natural water flows and drainage.

  • Significant sites: cultural, historic and environmental

    To protect this history the following measures will be used:

    • Protocols and agreements with local Iwi.

    • Engagement of cultural heritage monitors.

    • Liaison with local historical groups.

    • On site archaeological controls to ensure that approved processes are followed.