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waikato expressway banner

Project introduction

The Waikato Expressway will improve safety and reliability and reduce travel times and congestion on SH1 by delivering a four-lane highway from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge. The expressway is being built in seven sections, with the final section (Hamilton) due for completion in late 2021.

  • Estimated project dates

    Jan 2009–Dec 2021
  • Estimated project cost

    $100+ million
  • Project type

    4-Laning

Project updates

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Purpose

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.

 

 

Benefits

  • Reduce travel times between Auckland and Tirau by 35 minutes.

  • Significantly reduce the number of fatal and serious injury crashes.

  • Increase the highway's capacity and passing opportunities.

  • Reduce traffic congestion within smaller communities like Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Cambridge.

  • Reduce fuel costs and contribute to economic growth.

Sections of the Waikato Expressway

The Waikato Expressway is made up of seven separate projects.

Waikato Expressway update 2016

Frequently asked questions

If your question is not answered here, please contact us.

  • Why is the Waikato Expressway being built?

    The Expressway will improve economic growth and productivity for Auckland, Waikato, and the Bay of Plenty through more efficient movement of people and freight.

    The Waikato Expressway will:

    • reduce travel times between Auckland and Tirau up to 35 minutes

    • significantly reduce the number of fatal and serious injury crashes

    • increase the highway's capacity and passing opportunities

    • reduce traffic congestion within smaller communities like Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Cambridge

    • reduce fuel costs and contribute to economic growth.

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  • Where will interchanges and access points be located on the new road?

    The number of intersections will be minimised to ensure that through traffic is directed away from smaller communities and that local choke points are not created by cross town or local traffic seeking to use the Expressway. The planned benefits of economic growth and productivity are dependant on minimising journey times between Auckland and the agricultural and business centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty. 

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  • When is it likely to be completed?

    Completion of the whole Waikato Expressway is targeted for 2021.

    The individual sections of the Expressway are at the stages described below (as at April 2020):

    • Pokeno and Mercer sections totalling 22.6km are completed and open.

    • Longswamp section of 5.9km. All lanes in operation from March 2020.

    • Rangiriri section of 4.8km. Completed 2017.

    • Ohinewai section of 7.0km is completed and open.

    • Huntly section of 15.2km. Completed in March 2020.

    • Ngaruawahia section of 12.3km. Completed and opened December 2013.

    • Te Rapa section of 7.3km. Completed and opened December 2012.

    • Hamilton section of 21.8km. Under construction. Completion 2021.

    • Tamahere interchange of 2.4km is complete and open.

    • Cambridge section of 16km. Completed 2015.

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