Highest expressway bridge open

An aerial shot shows the completed Kay Rd Bridge.

The highest bridge on the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway opened to traffic on October 5. The 18.8m high Kay Rd Bridge provides a key connection to Hamilton’s north-east suburbs. Other bridges are typically only 8m high to provide the required 6.1m clearance for vehicles on the expressway.

NZ Transport Agency Portfolio Manager, Darryl Coalter, said the amount of dirt moved to build the bridge made it the largest single excavation on the project. “144,000 cubic metres of soil needed to be excavated to cut the expressway route through the Kay Road ridge. That’s enough soil to fill four rugby fields piled 5m high.” And above ground, the bridge consists of 3320 tonnes of concrete and reinforcing steel.

The Hamilton section of the expressway will open to traffic in 2020. This summer, a final 1.7 million cubic metres of sand and soil will be moved, and a third of the road pavement will be constructed.

When the Hamilton section of the expressway opens in 2020, it will improve safety, boost economic growth and cut journey times, enabling Cambridge locals to bypass the ‘Tron when heading to Auckland. The Huntly and Longswamp sections of the expressway are also under construction.

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