Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

SH1C Cobham Drive-Cambridge Road intersection improvements

April update

18 April 2023


Pavement resurfacing work underway

A long-awaited project

The project to upgrade the State Highway 1C Cobham Drive-Cambridge Road intersection will provide a safer environment for people walking and cycling through the neighbourhood. The upgrades will bring many benefits to the community, including to the local businesses along Cambridge Road. The project will reduce delays to drivers and help future-proof the route ahead of the growth expected in the wider region.

The anticipated finish is now likely to be in August, weather-depending. We appreciate that this is later than we originally advised, and that this is frustrating for the community.

The project ran into an unexpected delay in January. Despite careful investigation during the design phase, including using ground-penetrating radar and examining all available records, it was not apparent that the water mains located at a depth of up to 1.6m under the site were at risk of damage with the works.

We agreed with Hamilton City Council to temporarily stop work while solutions were found. These took time to resolve, and involved replacing some of the pipes with new pipes, and protecting the remainder with a concrete cap, all the while without cutting water supplies to the local community. 

Next steps
Now that the waterpipes under the road have been reconfigured, we are moving swiftly ahead to the next stages, which include asphalting and constructing the slip lane from SH1C around to local Cambridge Road. This means the left hand turn into local Cambridge Road from SH1C Cobham Drive has been temporarily closed, with an anticipated reopening at the end of May.

Hamilton City Council will be undertaking some additional water and wastewater pipe replacement, but this will not affect progress on the intersection project.

We have additional detour signs and Variable Message Sign (VMS) boards in place to guide people to access local Cambridge Road and the Hillcrest shops from the Cobham Drive-Wairere Drive interchange.

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. A reminder that vehicle access to and from properties and businesses is being maintained at all times.



Our contractors are making the most of the warm sunny days to complete the asphalting



Downer's traffic management team ensuring tamariki can cross local Cambridge Road safely

A team effort

With so many tamariki walking, cycling and scooting in the neighbourhood, especially to and from Hillcrest Normal School, it was important to ensure their safety as the project got underway.

Our contractors Downer were happy to help provide a temporary road crossing on local Cambridge Road when the old zebra crossing was removed, with the traffic management stop-go team enjoying interacting with the children each morning and afternoon.

The signalised pedestrian crossings and raised intersection platform that are part of this project will make this part of Hillcrest safer for people to move around.



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, we could not start work 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

We expect traffic volumes to 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 is 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