Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

SH1C Cobham Drive-Cambridge Road intersection improvements

May update

23 May 2023


Contractors preparing to install one of the new streetlights

Powering ahead

The project to upgrade the State Highway 1C Cobham Drive-Cambridge Road intersection has been making progress over the last month, despite the many rainy days.

Recent work has included new stormwater drainage, new kerb and channel, underground preparation for the traffic signals, replacing pavement and installation of new streetlights. In addition, WEL Networks has been getting ready to underground one of the overhead lines that crosses the highway, and Hamilton City Council contractors have progressed their upgrades to the watermains.

Next steps

The next stages include fencing and landscaping, installing a safety barrier and signage, and laying the new asphalt footpath.

We are expecting to reinstate the left-hand turn from SH1C Cobham Drive into local Cambridge Road in early June, providing there is enough dry weather to complete the asphalting and lane marking.

Following this, the crew will shift to the northbound side of the site and the next stage of the project. This is anticipated to begin on Friday 9 June, and from then until Saturday 17 June, we are temporarily restoring two lanes in each direction on SH1C to allow for the increase in traffic volumes from visitors to Fieldays (14-17 June).

Traffic management will then revert to two lanes southbound and one lane northbound on SH1C. Please follow the instructions of the traffic controllers when moving through the site, which has a speed restriction of 30 km/hr.

Long-term benefits

The improvements to the intersection will provide a safer environment for people walking and cycling in the neighbourhood, reduce delays to drivers and help future-proof the route ahead of the growth expected in the wider region.

We are doing our utmost to complete the intersection improvements as soon as we can, so the people of Hillcrest and the wider city can enjoy the benefits.

The anticipated finish is in late August, weather-depending. 



Digging up the old pavement and footpaths



A trench is dug in preparation for underground cables to be laid



The old roundabout was no longer fit for purpose

A roundabout time

The increasing traffic flows through the city meant the old roundabout was no longer fit for purpose. While design and construction funding was obtained in early 2015, work could not start on the project until the interchange at Cobham Drive and Wairere Drive was completed, which offers an alternative route into Hillcrest from SH1C.

High demand along Cobham Drive (SH1C) has not vanished with the opening of the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway; the traffic volumes that justified improvements to this intersection still exist. 

In March 2015, the peak hour eastbound count on SH1C was 1644 vehicles per hour, and a traffic count taken on Wednesday 14 September 2022, following the opening of the Hamilton section of the Expressway, showed the peak eastbound count was 1650 vehicles per hour.

Future growth expected

Traffic volumes will increase on this route as the population of Hamilton continues to grow – more so with the nearby development of Peacocke, which is one of Hamilton’s largest greenfield development areas.

Based on current growth projections from Hamilton City Council there are likely to be around 3750 homes in the Peacocke development area within the next 10 years. Within the next 30 years, Peacocke is expected to have more than 8000 houses and be home to around 20,000 people.

Project benefits

The intersection improvements include:

• Removing the old roundabout
• Installing traffic signals and a raised intersection platform
• Removing the zebra crossing on local Cambridge Road
• Installing two signal-controlled pedestrian crossings
• Undergrounding the powerlines crossing SH1C (Cambridge Road)
• Widening in places and resealing the footpath
• Installing new signage




More information


If you have any queries on the SH1C Cobham Drive-Cambridge Road intersection improvements project, please contact us at waikato.projects@nzta.govt.nz

For more information, visit our project webpage