Expressway taking shape

An aerial shot shows the progress of the Waikato Expressway in Tamahere.

Work on the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway – which will connect the already completed Cambridge and Ngaruawahia sections – is on track to its 2020 completion date as longer summer days assist building teams to reach their target. In 2020 the entire Waikato Expressway project will be completed, with the final three sections underway now – Hamilton, Longswamp and Huntly.

Pavement construction is currently a big focus at all three sections, with Longswamp well into building the north-bound lanes and Huntly making good progress on pavement over winter, along with bridge building. As seen recently in Cambridge News, Hamilton has opened its Kay Rd bridge – the tallest in the Hamilton project at 18.8 metres high – enabling the road to open again to the public. Now nearby Horsham Downs Rd has been closed while the road is bridged to go over the expressway.

The longest section of the expressway at 102km, Hamilton still has some earthworks to finalize but pavement work has also been started. It’s a special type of road pavement going down on all three final sections, called Hi-Lab, which utilizes large rocks (65mm and 45mm) with just enough gravel, sand and cement to bind them permanently in place.

On the southern end, excavation under the Gordonton Rd bridge has been completed and expressway embankments are under construction, as weather allows. The southern bridge abutment of the Puketaha Rd bridge is also under construction. There is likely to be a weekend road closure there from Friday 30 November for bridge beam placement.

Bridge works at Greenhill and Ruakura interchanges continue, and there are just minor finishing works now at the Ruakura Rd rehabilitation and roundabout connection with SH26-Morrinsville Rd.

At the Mangaonua Stream bridge near Matangi – the longest on the project – central piers are under construction. Just to the south, excavation has started to make room for the highway to pass under the new Matangi Rd bridge – viewable to those who commute into Hamilton each day from Cambridge.

Bridge and embankment construction continues for the Mangaone and Mangaharakeke stream bridges at Tamahere, and at the Southern Interchange the city off-ramp build continues. Retaining walls for the Cambridge Rd on-ramp bridge are under way.

To learn more about the project, visit www.facebook.com/waikatoexpressway/.

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