The Waikato Expressway Road of National Significance will improve safety and reliability and reduce travel times and congestion on SH1 by delivering a four-lane highway from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge. Once complete in 2020, the 102km Expressway will reduce travel time between Auckland and Tirau by 35 minutes. The Transport Agency has delivered the Waikato Expressway as a package of seven projects over the last fifteen years.
We delivered the Ngaruawahia section, which provided a four-lane bypass of Ngaruawahia and created a faster and safer link between Taupiri and Hamilton. The bypass connects to the future Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway (due for completion in 2019) and the Te Rapa section in the south.
Our work included construction of 9.5km of expressway between SH1B (Gordonton Rd) and Horotiu, 1.5 million m³ of earthworks, seven bridges, 220,000m2 of pavement and surfacing, and a grade-separated interchange with Gordonton Rd.
A standout feature of the expressway is Te Rehu o Waikato (the Mist of Waikato); a 140m long, five span bridge which carries the motorway over the Waikato River.
A standout feature of the expressway is Te Rehu o Waikato (the Mist of Waikato); a 140m long, five span bridge which carries the motorway over the Waikato River. The Waikato River is sacred to mana whenua and as such bridge piers were not permitted within the water course. To comply, the bridge was designed with a steel ladder deck with the 55m main span supported on innovative v-shaped piers. The V-shaped piers feature artwork designed by a Waikato-Tainui master carver and depicts tuna whakaheke (eel migration). Pou whenua on top of the bridge feature ancestral figures recognising ancestral connections to the Taupiri-Horotiu and wider region.
The entire 1.5 million m3 of earthworks and 220,000m2 of pavement were constructed within just two years.