The Waikato Expressway is a dual carriageway section of State Highway 1 in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand that is being constructed in stages. It forms part of the link between Auckland and Hamilton. When completed it will stretch 116 km (72 mi) and be 6 km (3.7 mi) shorter than the roads it replaced.
|State Highway 1|
|Maintained by NZ Transport Agency|
|Length||72.3 km (44.9 mi)|
|Existed||8 May 1993–present|
|North end||Bombay Hills|
Auckland Southern Motorway
| SH 2 at Pokeno|
SH 1B at Taupiri
SH 21 at Tamahere
SH 1B at Cambridge
|South end||Just south of Cambridge|
|Pokeno, Mercer, Meremere, Te Kauwhata, Rangiriri|
Currently, the expressway is made up of four sections: the first beginning at the end of the Auckland Southern Motorway at the top of the Bombay Hills and ending at Longswamp, the second beginning at Te Kauwhata and ending at Ohinewai, the third beginning at Taupiri and ending at Te Rapa and the fourth beginning at Tamahere and ending 2.5 km south of Cambridge. The first two sections are linked by a three lane section of State Highway 1 that will eventually be upgraded to four lanes and thus become a part of the expressway. Further extensions to the expressway are planned, and when completed, the expressway will form a 101.4 km long continuous four-lane dual carriageway from the Bombay Hills to beyond the town of Cambridge, 24 kilometres south-east of Hamilton. When completed, Hamilton, as well as several other towns along the current route of State Highway 1 (such as Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Cambridge), will be completely bypassed by the expressway, allowing through traffic to move much more efficiently.
While not officially designated as the Waikato Expressway until the early 2000s, the upgrading of State Highway 1 from the Bombay Hills to Mercer from 1992 to 1993 can be considered to be the first step in the construction of the expressway. During this upgrade, State Highway 1 from the end of the Southern Motorway to just north of Mercer was upgraded from two lanes to four, with grade separated interchanges constructed at Bombay and the junction with State Highway 2 just north of the township of Pokeno. A bypass of Pokeno was also constructed at this time, as well as several partially separated interchanges to allow access for local property owners along the route.
The Rangiriri to Ohinewai section was completed in 2003. The northern half of this section follows the pre-existing highway while the southern half of this section deviates from the original highway in order to bypass Ohinewai and features a diamond interchange on Tahuna Rd.
The Mercer to Longswamp section from the Bombay Hills to Mercer was opened in July 2006. The former two-lane section of State Highway is now the carriageway for northbound traffic, while a separate carriageway for southbound traffic was constructed in parallel. A grade-separated interchange at Mercer was also constructed, incorporating an overpass for the southbound lanes to cross over the North Island Main Trunk railway at this point.
As the two dual carriageway sections of the expressway (Bombay Hills to Longswamp and Rangiriri to Ohinewai) are not continuous, the section of highway between Longswamp and Rangiriri was upgraded to a 2+1 road in 2005 with the intention of upgrading this section to four lanes in the future.
The Mangaharakeke Drive section, originally known as the Te Rapa Bypass, was opened on 3 December 2012 between Horotiu and Rotokauri. Construction of the section of the expressway and Mangaharakeke Drive between Taupiri and Horotiu, bypassing Ngaruawahia, began in late 2011 and was officially opened on 14 December 2013.
Following funding approval in December 2012 construction of the Rangiriri and Cambridge sections commenced in 2013, in March and August respectively. The Cambridge section was officially opened on 15 December 2015 by Transport Minister Simon Bridges, with the road opening to traffic the next day.
The Rangiriri section mainline opened as a single carriageway on 21 June 2016, and became fully operational as a dual carriageway on 13 April 2017.
Construction of the Huntly section began in late August 2015. Construction of the biggest section, the Hamilton section, commenced in March 2016. Construction for the Longswamp section, the last section to commence, began in October 2016.
In December 2017, the Cambridge section became one of the first two sections of highway in New Zealand to be given a speed limit of 110 km/h.
|Mercer||Mercer–Hampton Downs||11 km||$83.5m||−2006|
|Longswamp||Hampton Downs–Te Kauwhata||6 km||$115m||2016–|
|Rangiriri||Te Kauwhata–Ohinewai||5 km||$105m||2013–2017|
|Ohinewai||Ohinewai bypass||7 km||$24m||−2003|
|Huntly||Ohinewai–Taupiri||15 km||$458m||2015–||New highway bypassing Huntly|
|Ngaruawahia||Taupiri–Horotiu||12 km||$190m||2011–2013||Opened December 2013. New highway bypassing Ngaruawahia.|
|Te Rapa||Horotiu–Rotokauri||7 km||$195m||2010–2012||Opened December 2012. New highway bypassing Te Rapa.|
|Hamilton||Lake Road interchange–Tamahere||22 km||$973m||2016–|
|Tamahere||Tamahere bypass||2 km|
|Cambridge||Tamahere–Cambridge south||16 km||$250m||2013–2015||Opened 16 December 2015. Upgraded highway from Tamahere to Cambridge north; new highway Cambridge north to Cambridge south|
The figures were reworked in 2010 because "Infometrics original RoNS analysis and report was concluded in December 2009. Since this time, NZTA published an updated conventional evaluation of the Waikato Expressway. The materiality of the change to the Waikato Expressway assessment warranted an update and re-run of the CGE model." The re-run model shows benefits of $186.3m pa, against annual costs of $87.3m. However, this is based on a total cost for the road of $1454.4m, which omits land costs, "as from an economy-wide perspective this is merely a transfer of ownership of an existing asset". In June 2015 the NZTA estimated the total cost of the road at between $2,200m and $2,400m. A critic has said that the calculations do not take account of the costs of owning and operating a vehicle on the roads, nor rising fuel costs. In 2016 some MPs were concerned Auckland congestion would cut travel time savings and hence the cost-benefit ratio of 1.4:1. One MP commented that the alternative commuter train, with the same CBR, didn’t "get a look in".
|Auckland Council (Franklin Local Board)||Bombay||471.5||SH 1 north (Southern Motorway) – Auckland||Waikato Expressway begins|
|471.9||471||Great South Road – Bombay, Pukekohe
Bombay Service Centre
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|473.2||473||Beaver Road||No east/west connection|
|Waikato District||474.5||474||Ridge Road|
|Pokeno||476.0||476||Razorback Road||Northbound entrance and southbound exit|
|476.7||477||SH 2 – Coromandel Peninsula, Tauranga|
|477.9||Great South Road – Pokeno||Northbound entrance and southbound exit|
|478.9||Great South Road – Pokeno||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Pioneer Road||Northbound exit is right hand turn|
|Island Block Road – Meremere||To close when full interchange is built at Spring Hill Road|
|Spring Hill Road – Meremere||Full interchange to be built as part of stage 2|
|Dragway Road||To close when full interchange is built at Spring Hill Road|
|Hampton Downs||494.0||Hampton Downs Road – Hampton Downs, Spring Hill Corrections Facility|
|Currently terminates south of the Hampton Downs Road interchange|
|Currently terminates north of Plantation Road|
|Waikato District||Te Kauwhata||Te Kauwhata Road/Plantation Road – Te Kauwhata|
|Rangiriri||Glen Murray Road – Rangiriri||No northbound entrance|
|Armatage Road||Northbound entrance and exit only|
|Ohinewai||510.0||Tahuna Road – Tahuna, Ohinewai|
|Currently terminates at Frost Road|
|Waikato District||Great South Road – Huntly||Under construction, expected to open 2019|
|Currently terminates at Gordonton Road|
|Waikato District||Taupiri||527.0||SH 1B (Gordonton Road) – Taupiri, Gordonton|
|Currently terminates onto Mangaharakeke Drive at Lake Road|
|Waikato District||Mangaharakeke Drive – Te Rapa, Hamilton Central, Ngaruawahia||No southbound entrance |
|Lake Road||Southbound entrance only|
|Resolution Drive – Rototuna, Chartwell||Link to be built to Resolution Drive/Borman Road roundabout|
|Pardoa Boulevard – Chartwell, Te Rapa||Link to be built to Wairere Drive/Gordonton Road/Crosby Road roundabout|
|SH 26 (Ruakura Link) – University, Hamilton Central, Morrinsville||Link to be built east to Ruakura Road and west to Ruakura Road/Silverdale Road roundabout|
SH 26 to be diverted via Ruakura Road to meet interchange.
|Cambridge Road – Hillcrest, Hamilton Central|
|Currently terminates at Bollard Road|
|Waikato District||Tamahere||560.4||SH 21 – Tamahere, Hamilton Airport|
|Waipa District||Cambridge Road – Cambridge (west)||Northbound entrance and southbound exit|
|Cambridge||SH 1B (Victoria Road) – Cambridge, Hautapu|
|Tirau Road (north)– Cambridge||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|SH 1 south (Tirau Road) – Rotorua, Taupo||Waikato Expressway ends|
Mangaharakeke Drive (Te Rapa spur)Edit
|Waikato District||Horsham Downs|| SH 1 Waikato Expressway north
|Mangaharakeke Drive begins |
No east to south connection
|Lake Road||Northbound exit only |
to Waikato Expressway southbound (future)
|Waikato District–Hamilton City boundary||Horotiu||Great South Road/Te Rapa Road – Te Rapa, Ngaruawahia||Crosses Waikato River on Te Rehu O Waikato Bridge|
|Burbush||SH 39 (Koura Drive) – Raglan, Otorohanga|
|Hamilton City||Avalon||Wairere Drive/Te Wetini Drive||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Avalon Drive||Mangaharakeke Drive ends|
- "Waikato Expressway". www.wsp-opus.co.nz. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- "Waikato Expressway". NZ Transport Agency. 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- "Auckland Motorways 2008" (PDF). New Zealand Transport Agency. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "Rangiriri to South of Ohinewai". Waikato Expressway. Transit New Zealand. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Traffic switches to new lanes at Mercer". Transit New Zealand Press release. 22 April 2004. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Longswamp to Te Kauwhata Four-Laning". Waikato Expressway. Transit New Zealand. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Roads of national significance". NZ Transport Agency. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "New length of Waikato Expressway now open to traffic". www.nzta.govt.nz. New Zealand Transport Agency. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Waikato Expressway contract awarded". NZ Transport Agency. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "Construction funding approved for two sections of the Waikato Expressway". NZTA. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Associate Minister marks start of Waikato Expressway – Rangiriri". Waikato Expressway. New Zealand Transport Agency: Waikato Regional Office. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Henson, Narelle (31 August 2013). "$250m project brings bypass, bridges and 300 jobs". Waikato Times. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- "Rangiriri section of Waikato Expressway set to open". Waikato Times. Stuff.co.nz. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
- "PM and Transport Minister turn sod on Hamilton section of Waikato Expressway". Waikato Times. 11 March 2016.
- "Contract awarded for final part of Waikato Expressway". Waikato Times. Stuff.co.nz. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Tauranga turnoff 'black spot' to benefit from proposed expressway extension: Government". stuff.co.nz. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
- Phillipa Yalden (11 December 2017). "Waikato, Tauranga expressway speed limits rise to 110kmh". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
- "Opening of SH1 Mercer to Longswamp". The Beehive. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Longswamp | NZ Transport Agency". www.nzta.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Rangiriri | NZ Transport Agency". www.nzta.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "SH16 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 Brigham Creek Extension" (PDF). p. 4 Table 1.
- "Huntly | NZ Transport Agency". www.nzta.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Ngāruawāhia | NZ Transport Agency". www.nzta.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Te Rapa | NZ Transport Agency". www.nzta.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Largest roading project in the Waikato's history to get underway this month". NZ Transport Agency. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
- "Hamilton | NZ Transport Agency". www.nzta.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- "Cambridge | NZ Transport Agency". www.nzta.govt.nz. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- New Zealand Transport Agency – Roads of National Significance – Economic Assessments 2009 p. 33
- Roads of National Significance, Economic Assessments Review 2010
- Hamilton Urban Blog 3 June 2015
- Sunday Star Times 21 November 2010
- "2014/15 Annual Review of the Ministry of Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency". Report of the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee. 11 February 2016.