The second stage of investigation and design of the Tamahere section of the Waikato Expressway is now being done by Opus International and is expected to take two years to complete.
The third stage – detailed design and construction of the 4.4km section of road at Tamahere – will follow and is targeted to be completed in five years, 2016.
Tamahere landowners affected by the project can expect to be contacted by Opus in the next few months.
The expressway route follows the alignment of the existing State Highway 1. It will connect to the existing Tamahere Interchange section to the north and the Cambridge section to the south. Click the following link for a drawing of the route (Pdf): Tamahere expressway drawing
The way land purchases are handled or compensation is paid to those affected by the new road are laid out in the Public Works Act and summarised in the following guide from Land Information New Zealand. Click the following link to download the Landowners’ Rights booklet (pdf): landowners-rights-booklet
The long process to this point began in 1993 when Opus began an initial investigation, which led to the Tamahere section being designated in 2005 under the Hamilton Bypass designation. It was fully notified, submissions called for and a hearing held by independent commissioners.
The NZ Transport Agency says the current phase will include a review of the preliminary design of the designated route, detailed geotechnical, engineering and environmental investigations, securing the necessary resource consents and making any minor changes to the designation required for construction earthworks and stormwater drainage.
It will also involve the development of the design to the point where a construction contract will be able to be tendered, and provision of information related to property purchases.
“It is not currently planned to materially alter the designated route and the expressway will generally be constructed immediately adjacent to the current State Highway 1. Some of the redundant sections of State Highway 1 will become a local road and, on completion, all private connections to the current state highway will be replaced with connections to local roads,” NZTA said.
NZTA says consultation will include a combination of site visits, individual meetings and a public information day later this year before the agency lodges any alteration to designation and consent applications.
The expressway is quite separate from another roading project under investigation, the Southern Links study, which focuses on the long term growth south of Hamilton.
Currently, the NZTA and Hamilton City Council are jointly investigating Hamilton’s proposed Southern Links project. This investigation aims to identify and protect a future transport network to the south of Hamilton City.