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Greenhill Interchange will be a major connector, taking traffic to and from Hamilton via Pardoa Boulevard to Wairere Drive.


March 2019

It’s been a great summer for road works and the teams building the final three sections of the Waikato Expressway have been making the most of the settled weather.

Building the base layers for the actual highway, which the industry calls “pavement”, is a big focus on all three sections – Longswamp, Huntly and Hamilton.

Longswamp is well advanced on the north-bound lanes as it heads to completion this spring, Huntly is making good progress on pavement works, with about 50 per cent in place along the 15km route, and Hamilton is also well under way on road-building where earthworks are completed.

We’re building a special type of road pavement on these sections called Hi-Lab. This includes large rock (65mm and 45mm), with gravel, sand and cement to bind the rocks in place.

Three to go
5.9km SH1 widening
Between Te Kauwhata and Hampton Downs interchanges.
Completion November 2019

Huntly: 15.2km greenfields
Between Ohinewai and Ngaruawahia sections
Completion early 2020

Hamilton: 22km greenfields
Between Ngaruawahia and Cambridge sections
Completion late 2020

For more expressway information – photos, videos, news – go to where you can also sign up for emailed section updates. Or like us on Facebook to get progress news and posts most days.



The view yesterday from Whangamarino Road bridge showing all traffic on the south-bound lanes and work continuing ahead of a traffic switch to the north-bound lanes next week.



The 5.9km Longswamp section involves widening the existing SH1 route. Construction started in early 2017 on building the south-bound lanes first and traffic switched over as the new lanes were built.

The last remaining south-bound section, just south of the Whangamarino Road overbridge, will soon be built following extensive seismic protection via stone columns.

Next week vehicles will be switched on to the first section of new north-bound lanes south of the bridge.

With traffic running on the new south-bound lanes, earthworks, drainage and road surface building has been under way on the new north-bound lanes.

A milestone was the opening of the overbridge in early December. This connects local roads and communities east and west of SH1.

The whole site remains a construction zone until completion in late 2019, so take care and please follow the 70km/h speed limit.
Building a highway around live traffic adds an extra health and safety risk for those working on the ground. After several serious vehicle crashes recently, we’d like to remind drivers to stay within the 70km/h speed limit, pay attention and drive to the conditions.

We are pleased that there have been no serious injuries or fatalities for motorists and our crews. But with 20,000-plus vehicles a day coming through the site, any lane closures caused by accidents have a massive impact on travellers.

Read the most recent update, featuring the bridge opening and a graphic showing the local road connections, at



This aerial view of the northern side of Taupiri Range shows advances in road building heading up to the summit.



With the big earth-moving gear heading off site, road construction and bridge building is advancing on schedule right along the route.

There are nine bridges on the Huntly job, most taking local traffic over the expressway. The latest to be completed will be Waring Road, due to open to traffic on 27 March. The McVie Road local bridge opened in late December.

At the start of the project in spring 2015 the team had 3.4 million cubic metres of earthworks to move. Now there’s just a few thousand remaining. The Hi-Lab pavement work has now passed the 40 per cent mark.

The 15.2km Huntly section takes SH1 across lowlands and over the Taupiri Range and is being built out of public view, so we were pleased to host a public information day on site late last year. A highlight for many of the 1200 people who attended was a bus ride along the route to the summit of the Taupiri Range.

People may have noticed a service centre is being built on the western side of the Gordonton Interchange. This is a private development and not part of the expressway project.

The Fulton Hogan-HEB joint venture isn’t just involved in building the new road; they are also required to carry out pest control in the area, including the 650-hectare Taupiri Scenic Reserve.

This has been bad news for goats, possums, rats, stoats, rabbits and hares – but great for the regenerating bush and birdlife. It also gives the 1.3 million plants going into the ground along the route a good start.  You can read more about the pest control work in the February project update.

You can get those updates direct to your inbox by signing up on the website
See the latest video flyover there also.



There's a lot happening at Tamahere where the expressway will swing across the gullies towards Matangi Road.



Bridge and interchange building continue, and the Hi-Lab pavement construction is under way on the 22km Hamilton section which takes SH1 east of the city from Tamahere to Lake Road.

Earthworks are largely complete in the northern and central areas but continue in the south.
While the whole length is a busy construction zone, there is much activity in and around the Southern Interchange where the Hamilton section will connect to the completed Cambridge/Tamahere section.

Bridges are being built across the Mangaone and Mangaharakeke stream gullies, and two large culverts are required to take gully streams under a new local link road. Road crews have been working day and night on the new lanes running toward the city, which include the off-ramp to Hamilton.

We expect to switch traffic on to those lanes in early May which will allow construction of the expressway where it cuts through Cambridge Road. Read more about this work in the February project update.

The other four interchanges are also progressing. At the Northern Interchange, at Lake Road where the Ngaruawahia section joins the Hamilton section, the ramps are taking shape and pavement is under construction for more than 2km to Osborne Road.

The Resolution Interchange bridge abutments are in the final construction phase, and there’s been good progress on extending Resolution Drive from the city out to the interchange.

The remaining two full diamond interchanges at Greenhill and Ruakura are also now bridged and work continues on ramps and connections.

Horsham Downs Road remains closed to build a bridge over the expressway. Traffic is expected to be crossing the new bridge by the end of the year. Another bridge is taking shape where the expressway crosses Puketaha Road. This has been spanned and decked.

The 150-metre Mangaonua Stream bridge is the longest of the 17 bridges on the Hamilton section. Construction of bridge pile caps and centre columns continues into autumn.

The annual project open day will be held in spring this year when we hope to offer bus tours along the expressway route.

There are lots of resources on the website including video updates and flyovers, and a special tab for Southern Interchange news.
You can sign up for monthly updates and the quarterly Project Updates on the website.



Resealing work continues on the Te Rapa section.


Te Rapa and Ngaruawahia sections

Our contractors are doing remedial works on both the Te Rapa and Ngaruawahia sections to ensure the condition of the expressway remains safe and up to required standards going into winter.

This work is also part of a staged approach aimed at finding a solution to the rutting issues on the Te Rapa and Ngaruawahia sections which opened in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The work this season involves water-proof sealing, filling in any depressions, and a quieter “whisper seal”. Moisture sensors are being installed to assist investigations into the cause of the failure and long-term solution.

The works can mostly be done through speed restrictions and lane closures with little disruption to road users. Occasional detours overnight have and will be required.
Works at Te Rapa are well under way and likely to wrap up by Easter. Ngaruawahia works need to be completed before winter.

This water-proof resealing is the first stage of work, with the second stage to be delivered next construction season providing a long-term solution for the road surface.

The Transport Agency and contractors thank road users and nearby residents for their understanding and patience while we complete these works.

You can read more about what’s happening on these sections here and for further updates on the Expressway Surface Works tab on the main page



More information


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