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September start for new section of Waikato Expressway


Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport

29 March 2011

Media Statement

September start for Ngaruawahia section of Waikato Expressway

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the award today of the $150 million contract for the construction of the Ngaruawahia section of the Waikato Expressway makes way for work to begin in September.

“I’m really pleased with the work we’ve seen on the expressway to date,” he says.

Work has already commenced on the 7.3km Te Rapa and 2.2km Taupiri Link sections of the Expressway which has been identified as one of seven Roads of National Significance.

Mr Joyce says construction of the Ngaruawahia section will create up to 300 local jobs, on top of the 200 people employed in the core project team working on the Te Rapa section.

In addition, there have already been over 1,100 contractors working on the expressway with tasks ranging from design and planning to construction and specialist engineering.

“The long-term economic benefit of the Waikato Expressway is hugely important both regionally and nationally," says Mr Joyce.

“When complete the expressway will effectively bring our major cities of Auckland and Hamilton much closer together.

“The completed Te Rapa and Ngaruawahia sections will provide a 20 kilometre long new northern entrance for Hamilton, linking with both the Hamilton Bypass and Huntly Bypass when the expressway is completed."

Mr Joyce says the Expressway is a priority for investment because of the economic and safety benefits it will bring.

"Pre-election National committed to having the Waikato Expressway completed within ten years of National taking office. It remains a big challenge and we are confident that this goal can be achieved.

"The Government is committed to lifting productivity, creating jobs and helping get our goods to market faster. Strong investment in our state highways and the completion of projects such as this will help deliver on these priorities.”

When the 102km Waikato Expressway is completed in 2019 it 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. The Expressway will improve economic growth and productivity for Auckland, Waikato, and the Bay of Plenty through more efficient movement of people and freight.

ends


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