The Waikato's largest roading project

New Zealand Transport Agency


$430 million

Contract Type






Waikato Expressway Hamilton Section

Driving economic growth

Home to some of our largest industries, including dairy, forestry and tourism, the ‘Golden Triangle’ between Auckland, Waikato and the Western Bay of Plenty currently generates over 45% of New Zealand’s GDP. By 2025, it is likely to increase to 50%. To support these major regional economies requires efficient transport networks to carry goods, people and freight between cities, ports and international markets. The faster freight, tourists and commuters can travel between these centres, the more our economy will grow – and that’s good for all New Zealanders.

The faster freight, tourists and commuters can travel between these centres, the more our economy will grow – and that’s good for all New Zealanders.

Faster journeys between Auckland and these regional centres will be a key outcome of the Waikato Expressway once complete in 2020. Delivering a four-lane expressway between Auckland and south of Cambridge, this Road of National Significance will reduce travel time between Tirau and Auckland by 35 minutes, while improving safety. The Transport Agency has been delivering the Waikato Expressway as a package of projects over the last fifteen years. Though the projects already delivered have significantly improved safety and journey time, the completion of the final piece, the Hamilton Section, will enable the full benefits of the expressway to be realised, including:
  • Reduce travel times between Auckland and Tirau by 35 minutes.

  • Significant reduction in the number of fatal and serious injury crashes.

  • Increase the highway's capacity and passing opportunities.

  • Reduce traffic congestion within smaller communities like Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Cambridge.

  • Reduce fuel costs and emissions 

  • Contribute to economic growth

The Hamilton section is the largest roading project ever undertaken in the Waikato, connecting to the Ngaruawahia section of the Expressway (completed by Fletcher in 2013) in the north and the existing Tamahere section in the south. 

The 21.8km expressway involves four million cubic metres of earthworks, 17 bridges, five major intersections and extensive local road crossings. Building the mega project will require up 28,450 cubic metres of concrete, 212km road markings and 126km of fencing, 1.3 million tonnes of aggregate and up to 700 000 square metres of OGPA road surfacing.

The complexity of the project lies in the overall scale and the complex stakeholder environment. The alignment runs along the edge of Hamilton city and includes multiple local road crossings, requiring extensive liaison with local residents and institutional stakeholders and a construction approach that minimises impact on the local road network.  

With a number of areas of cultural significance along the alignment, the alliance is working closely with Waikato-Tainui on environmental and waahi tapu protection, archaeological interests, work in the gullies and creating training and employment opportunities.

21.8km expressway 
4 million cubic metres of earthworks, 
17 bridges, 
28,450 cubic metres of concrete, 
1.3 million tonnes of aggregate.

Project Partners

Name New Zealand Transport Agency

Role Client and alliance participant

Name Higgins

Role Alliance Participant

Name Beca

Role Alliance Participant

Name Coffey

Role Alliance Participant