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Second section of the Waikato Expressway opens

Second section of the Waikato Expressway opens

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee today officially opened the 12.3 kilometre Ngaruawahia section of the Waikato Expressway, marking a significant milestone towards the completion of the transformational 102km road of national significance.

“This important section of road will encourage and support economic growth and productivity through improved linkages between the Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty regions, where the majority of the country’s freight and travel movement occurs,” Mr Brownlee says.

"It will also provide major safety benefits for a region that for too long has been overrepresented in road accident statistics.”

Once completed in 2019, this key strategic transport corridor will stretch from the top of the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

“Local freight contractors are looking forward to the efficiency gains the completed Waikato Expressway will offer their businesses, with some indicating a potential benefit of 50 per cent in productivity as the new route will enable an additional run each day,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Having just this section completed will be a big economic boost for Hamilton to Auckland operators in particular.”

Mr Brownlee says the Government’s investment in infrastructure in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Northland is aimed at meeting the demands of a growing population in these areas and supporting associated economic growth in the upper North Island.

“The Government recognises the huge importance of the upper North Island to the New Zealand economy and is investing accordingly in its future.”

The $200 million Ngaruawahia section is the second section of the $2.1 billion Waikato Expressway to be completed, following the completion of the Te Rapa Section in December 2012. The Cambridge and Rangiriri Sections are both under construction and expected to be completed by 2016. The Longswamp, Hamilton and Huntly Sections are currently under investigation and preliminary design.

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