Biggest Roading Project in Hamilton
Sep 19, 2017
The CityEdge Alliance, comprising Fletcher, Higgins, Beca, Coffey, Hicks Bros and the NZ Transport Agency, is building the 22km four-lane Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway.
Hamilton’s biggest-ever roading project, the Hamilton section will connect the Ngāruawāhia section of the expressway to the Tamahere and Cambridge sections. It will reduce traffic congestion, improve safety, reduce fuel costs and boost economic growth regionally and nationally.
The project involves the construction of 17 bridges crossing nine local roads, three deep gullies and a busy railway line carrying 30-40 trains a day to and from Tauranga.
The CityEdge Alliance team began construction in October 2016 and is about to commence their second earthworks season. This is a key phase for the project with more than 1.5 million cubic metres of earth to be moved.
Two of the major interchanges each require 400,000 cubic metres of earthworks. To deliver these quantities over the 2017/2018 season the earthworks will be carried out by 15 earthworks teams and three drainage crews. This will see more than 100 items of earthwork plant in use at any one time.
Project Manager Matt Fairweather tells us how the bridges are taking shape.
“Our first bridge is expected to open to traffic on Morrinsville Road in October this year, followed by the Gordonton Road Bridge, and the East Coast Main Trunk Rail Bridge at Ruakura (to construction traffic only).
These bridges are expected to be open by Christmas 2017 – and we’ll have another 10 bridges under construction.
Our dumptrucks will travel over or under these four completed bridges during the upcoming earthworks season, hauling sand and earth to build the expressway embankments. Some of our construction sand will be transported up to 8km. By finding and transporting the material on site, we keep our costs down and we don’t hold up traffic on busy local roads.”
Other key areas of focus for the CityEdge Alliance team include managing the project’s environmental footprint, and informing the communities along the project.
The project touches many different communities. From the beginning, the team has focused on visiting every home within 200 metres of all worksites and getting to know the neighbours. They also hold a public open day each year.
Local communities have been pleasantly surprised at the commitment to protecting wildlife and improving habitat, doing the right thing by the environment and making sure that the project leaves it in a better state.
When complete, the entire Waikato Expressway will be 102km in length, running from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge. It will provide two lanes of traffic in each direction divided by a central barrier. The Hamilton section is one of the final sections to be delivered and is due for completion in 2020.