Waikato Expressway Key Step


NZTA today awarded a $6.5m contract to move forward the design and building of the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway.

The contract is for a review of the preliminary design for the route of the Hamilton section; more detailed geotechnical, engineering and environmental investigations; and securing resource consents required for construction earthworks, stream crossings and stormwater drainage.preliminary design, more detailed engineering work and securing resource consent.

It will take three years to complete and is a key step before construction begins.

The contract for the secondary investigation and specimen design of this 21.8 kilometre-long section of the expressway has been awarded to Opus International Consultants Ltd.

The Hamilton section will pass to the east of the city, connecting with the Ngaruawahia section at the Lake Road junction in the north and the existing Tamahere deviation just south of Hillcrest, in the south. Besides regional benefits, the expressway aims to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on Hamilton’s local road network by removing through traffic.

When the work is completed, the NZTA will call for tenders to construct it.

NZTA’s Waikato director for Waikato, Harry Wilson, said this was a significant step towards delivery of a complete Waikato Expressway by 2019.

Transport minister Steven Joyce said that before the election, National committed to having the Waikato Expressway completed within ten years of National taking office.

“It remains a big challenge we’re committed to this goal in government and we’re a further step closer today.”




  1. Ben says:

    I am a little bit disturbed by the useless National Minister Steven Joyce is move. The amount of money he has set aside for the design phase of the project, is probably how much railway gets altogether. If it wasn’t for the Labour Government none of these projects would have ever got built.

    Steven seems to think it is ok wasting billions of dollars on roading projects, so he can allow those heavy trucks to use it. It’s no wonder NZ is in debt and the much needed public transport project that Wellington and Auckland are happening slowly or not happening at all. Like a CBD rail loop or a railway link to airport, seems that its all about the cars and trucks disgusting! Election Now!!!!!!!!!

  2. greenwelly says:

    An election is not going to change the Waikato Expressway

    “The Waikato Expressway is a key deliverable in Transit’s State Highway Plan and I am delighted to see it progress. The Government made a commitment to address the Waikato region’s transport needs in our May 2006 budget, and development of the Waikato Expressway was recognised as an important strategic investment.”

    …..Minister of Transport, Hon Annette King


  3. Jon C says:

    I think there is a good argument for getting the Waikato expressway sorted. As an occasional motorist who uses it I certainly welcome the speed the project is moving ahead. I see a debate about Waikato commuter trains as being a separate debate.

  4. Ben says:

    I don’t see why it should cost so much money and consume so much land to build the Hamilton Bypass, the main reason to build it so badly is that they want to increase the amount of dangerous trucks on a our highways, increase car ownership, noise pollution, air pollution at the expensive of our rapidly degrading environment. I think an airport railway link to Auckland is needed but national seem quite happy throwing billions of dollars of our money into highway construction and sprawl. like i said Steven Joyce is an idiot.

  5. Bill says:

    This is wonderful news, now what about the section between Cambridge and Tirau, they need to move on that too.

  6. jon r says:

    Wonderful news? Wonderful for the trucking and roading lobby. Bill, how’s your truck fleet these days?

  7. Bill says:

    What a sarcastic remark from an ignorant idiot who thinks he knows me, which you don’t jon r. I have no so-called “truck fleet” and I am not part of some drummed up “trucking and roading lobby” you like to dream of, waste time complaining about and get absolutely no where on. Oh, last time I checked this site is not one-sided and narrow-minded, and this project is wonderful for everyone, not just for the so-called “trucking and roading lobby” but for you too.

    Keep that in “mind”.
    Notice I purposely put quotation marks around “mind”.

  8. Eric says:

    I agree with Bill, of all the road projects out there I would say that the Waikato expressway is one of the most important. Likewise I think that the airport railway link is one of the biggest public transport projects needed as well. But I think that the airport link and the expressway should be two separate issues and we shouldn’t have to chose one over the other. I also think that some people need to get their heads around the fact that not everyone that supports roads is working for the trucking industry and may just genuinely want to get to their destinations faster(I know it may sound crazy to some).

  9. Jon says:

    Thanks Bill for your reply. Good to read such a positive response from you.

    Can I ask why you and Eric think the Waikato Expressway is the most important road route? Unlike many of you, I have travelled it at least 100 times in the past 17 months. Only 1 trip was there a significant incident while delayed my trip back to Auckland (by 20 mins).

    I am curious to know why you think the $2 billion expressway is that important? It is never blocked like Auckland’s motorway network (daily basis).

    What are the huge benefits you are thinking of by a trip time being reduced 5 to 10 minutes (not guaranteed)? All that for $2 billion seems hardly worth it. As Eric points out, the rail link to Akl airport is far more important as it removes vehicles from roads, therefore reducing congestion and allows freight to move the airport from North and South by rail. All that for less than $600 million (from the ARC study).

  10. Mike F says:

    The nzta website spells out all the benefits.


  11. jon r says:

    In that case you’d believe anything the NZTA says? Then in that case the Holiday Highway is just as important?

    Mike F - Can you answer my questions I directed to Bill? Great to read your ACTUAL thoughts.

  12. karl says:

    Well, spending money on an Auckland facility and a Hamilton facility are certainly two different matters.

    But I do agree that there’s a good point in the fact that government is very negative on rail to Hamilton, but keen to spend tons of money on improving Hamilton’s long-distance roads. Sure it will be good for the economy in some ways - but that doesn’t mean that a much smaller investment in rail in Hamilton wouldn’t be much better in terms of BCR.

    Of course that would also reduce the BCR of any bypass or other strategic roading schemes, because some traffic might actually reduce. With our current government’s preferences, that is just not on.

    I don’t fault NZTA for trying to build good roads, and when they are not trying to prove extremely dubious “wider economic benefits”, I am not even faulting their justifications much - in their world that considers roads only, they are logical and make sense.

    I do however fault our government for telling them to concentrate on roads, and effectively banning them from even considering rail. It’s a classical case of “picking winners” and slanting the game to roads - you expressively don’t even consider the alternatives.

  13. Mike F says:

    Jon R
    On the face of it having read the benefits I see no reason why this should not be built. However as I use this road only a few times a year I’m not in a position to argue one way or the other.
    Maybe you could counter argue the specific benefits outlined? Simply implying the Waikato and Northland citizens should wait until Auckland sorts itself out ie steel wheels to the airport is I believe a weak argument.

  14. Eric says:

    The reason I think that the expressway is important is because it bypasses Hamilton(which if anyone has tried to drive through during rush hour is a complete nightmare). State highway one in the north island now bypasses most major towns so it makes sense to bypass this one as well. It also makes the drive a lot safer, as it bypasses a lot of roundabouts and traffic lights.

  15. Sue Clarke says:

    Try living a life on land adjoining or in the designated expressway! You are contantly exposed to the nightmare of promised times, years, dates of the waikato expressway in the name of good resource and economic planning while you try and live the peaceful life you want! Meantime you learn with the submission process off by heart only to have your heart broken and land rights removed!
    Bypass ‘roads’,including Hamilton arterial ring roads, were apparently planned in the 1960′s.Yet this badly needed Hamilton to Cambridge bypass {both for reasons of a)improving GDP and b)the need for a safer road)remains being pushed politically forwards at election time then backwards during various party reigns.
    In relation to Eric’s comments I agree.Try visiting Pokeno - now in Waikato District Council’s basket.Isn’t it one of NZ’s smallest towns & yet still successful as a village?
    Q.Why was it bypasssed originally?
    If Hamilton City Council really wants a’vitalised’ Hamilton therefore prosperity help residents and visitors get into town easier with less traffic…reduce the need for a new bridge(at rate payer expense) HCC move onwards with the H-C bypass. Remove LTSA’s grip on the Hamilton’s eastern side.Politics over the recent years unfortunately spawned JOG. A strategy of ‘yes minister’- ‘no minister’. JOG does not benefit either Hamilton or the Waikato.The Central City and eastern Hamilton are now locked in a time warp of delay and decay. Try the Hillcrest roundabout most times most days!It is state highway One for goodness sake.How are LTSA ever going to be able to control the traffic there during the time when major roadworks needed?
    Especially after the spectacular decision of ‘someone’ who supplied Burger king with new access from the St Hwy 1 roundabout! Place a polititian in a car there at peak times night and mornings to witness efficancy of a significant highway!Unfortunately they are given (taxpayer funded)helicopter
    rides to view the traffic flows..
    People who live here know that State hwy 1 travel through Hamilton from the east is best avoided when school is on.The only vision of any efficent transport system around and through Hamilton City to the Waikato(or NZ taxpayers)is possibly that of Hamilton’s part time v8 racetrack.Put up and put down!A stitch in time policy…
    Hear hear! The train service definitely needs putting back on the map.There are many ways to do that.Do we need another rail line perhaps? Or resurrect the early pioneers who understood the importance of sustainable transport? Cycles [and their riders] are largely unsafe on state highways.I would not ride a horse on roads anymore it is too dangerous to the point of stupidity!
    Because Fonterra seems to have first call over freight these days with the inland port at Te Rapa then Ruakura would surely be a more useful place for a transit hub where commuter trains can be caught - It may also be possible to incorporate the two purposes.Q. How many rail lines do actually exist?
    Shortsighted Politics removed lines to Cambridge(very recently),
    Te Aroha,etc.These were important commuter tra(i)nsport routes/destinations.LTSA has in fact held certain sway over these decisions too.This is perhaps not entirely or widely known to the public.

    I also would like to comment on the 3 year contract awarded Opus for the H-C planning.3 Years!! WHY? What have staff been doing recently for their suppers? What has the past funding bought the tax payer(and area)? Where is the Opus evidence of concrete planning from the last few years? Where are the plans done in the last few years of this section? And why are they secret in regard to plan and cost and to those people affected? Auditing as by public transparency should be necessary of OPUS.If the staff numbers showing up to r/v work on one of the expressway properties being decontaiminated is part of the funding then no wonder the costs are so dear!
    These are my personal comments and I respect the ability to use this website to air them - I apologise for the length of my comments.Edit if you want…thank you for the opportunity!


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