$168m SH1 Waikato Expressway Stage Approved


The sign off this afternoon for a  $168.7 million funding package for the design and construction of the Te Rapa bypass as part of the SH1 Waikato expressway.

Of the total cost, the NZTA will provide $156.7 million. The balance will be provided by Hamilton City Council ($11.7 million) and Waikato District Council ($0.3 million).

Construction of the 7.2k section  will be underway by September, meaning three sections of the Waikato Expressway will be underway by next year - Te Rapa, Rangiriri and Ngaruawahia.

The design and construction contract has been awarded to a three-way partnership - Fulton Hogan, Opus International and NZTA.

The contract allows for final design and subsequent construction.

It includes:

  • widening 1.6km of Avalon Drive, plus the construction of 5.6km of new road, largely across farmland, from Avalon Drive to north of Bern Road at Horotiu. The Avalon drive widening will be designed to allow for the future construction of bus lanes.
  • The Te Rapa section will connect to the future Ngaruawahia section of the Waikato Expressway to the north. The Ngaruawahia Expressway section is due for completion in 2014.
  • The Te Rapa route will include two major interchanges, one at Horotiu with full access as well as a central interchange half way along providing connections for northbound and southbound traffic and allowing for future growth in the area.
  • A new bridge will be built over the North Island main trunk railway line near Horotiu.
  • Two new local road bridges will also be built along the new Te Rapa route to allow for future local roads to be built as part of the Rotokauri structure plan development.
  • A major new signalised intersection will be formed where the new road merges with Avalon Drive near Gilchrist Rd. Gilchrist Rd will be realigned to form a new four-lane arterial road allowing traffic to cross under and access the state highway.
  • A new entrance to Wintec will be constructed from Gilchrist Rd.

The Waikato Expressway is made up of 10 sections The sub-projects are as follows:

  • Pokeno Interchange Upgrade  Mangatawhiri Four-laning section, Mercer to Longswamp section: Completed
  • Longswamp to Rangiriri section: Design to commence mid -year
  • Rangiriri section: being designed
  • Ohinewai section: Completed
  • Huntly section: Design tendered Feb
  • Ngaruawahia section: being designed
  • Te Rapa section: design & construction contract now let
  • Hamilton section: Design to be tendered mid - year
  • Tamahere to Cambridge Four-Laning: Design to commence mid -year
  • Cambridge section: being designed




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    I don’t really know much about the Waikato expressway proposals… Thanks for posting…

  2. Luke says:

    I wonder if by the time they’ve finished the expressway to Cambridge, the northern section will be heavily congested so will have to add a third lane. Then spending $1 million on a rail service may look like a really good idea.

  3. Geoff says:

    I love how they have approved a bypass of the Te Rapa bypass that opened two years ago. How many years until they want a bypass of the bypass of the bypass?

  4. kel says:

    @ Geoff:

    I love your comment. If it’s true, then what a freaking joke!! In fact, it reminds me of a ‘motorway’ that was built in Nelson several years back. The motorway closed into a one lane in each direction in which slowed everyone down, and a couple of years later the council had to make it two lanes the whole way. I’m really wondering if concrete is seriously expensive or if NZ drivers or councils are just seriously scared of large, wide roads!? Any ideas anyone??


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