$458m approved for Huntly section of Waikato Expressway
$458million approved for Huntly section of Waikato Expressway
The NZ Transport Agency Board has approved $458million in funding for the design and construction of the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway.
The Waikato Expressway is one of the seven state highways, called the Roads of National Significance, identified by the Government as essential to New Zealand's economic prosperity.
The Transport Agency is charged with delivering this programme of state highway improvements within the next 10 years.
Transport Agency Waikato Bay of Plenty regional director Harry Wilson said the funding approval meant construction of the 15.5km section would start in September 2015, allowing the Transport Agency to remain on track to complete the full length of the Waikato Expressway by 2019.
“This is great news, not just for the Waikato but for all of New Zealand,” he said.
“The Waikato Expressway will cut travel times between Auckland and Tirau by 35 minutes, decrease the number of deaths and serious injuries from crashes, increase highway capacity and make a major contribution to our country’s economic growth.”
The Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway will start approximately 1.3km north of Fisher Road and will pass through the Taupiri Range, east of Huntly.
Once complete, it will connect the Ohinewai section of the Waikato Expressway, in the north, to the Ngaruawahia section, which opened in late 2013.
A total of nine bridges and two intersections will be constructed as part of the project, which also includes the second half of the Gordonton Road interchange.
“This section of the Waikato Expressway will reduce traffic congestion in the townships of Huntly and Taupiri and improve safety, particularly near the urupa (cemetery) on Taupiri Mountain,” Mr Wilson said.
The Transport Agency is currently finalising the consenting process for the project. Tenders close in December and the contract will be awarded in April 2015.
Construction is expected to start in September 2015.