People travelling through the Waikato over summer will see plenty of action as the region’s biggest ever roading project hits full steam.
Work is well under way on the Hamilton, Huntly, Longswamp and Rangiriri sections of the Waikato Expressway. On the Hamilton section more than four million cubic metres – or 114 rugby fields piled five metres high – of soil will be shifted over the next two seasons.
At peak this summer there will be more than 150 machines on the 15km Huntly section, including 100-tonne dump trucks, a fleet of motor scrapers and a 180-tonne excavator. It was brought to the site in pieces and required seven trucks to move the pieces into place. Its huge bucket can scoop up 25 tonnes of earth at a time.
“We need the community and visitors to take extra care when they are driving around the sites as there will be reduced speeds, new road alignments, temporary roads and other hazards they should look out for,” said NZ Transport Agency’s Waikato state highways manager, Niclas Johansson.
The Huntly project is into its second season of earthworks – and it will be a big one, with the target two million cubic metres between October and May. By comparison, in the project’s first season just over 500,000 cubic metres were moved.
Further north the end is in sight for the 4.8km Rangiriri section, which began in 2013. The project, which includes full interchanges at Rangiriri and the Te Kauwhata turnoff, will be completed in April next year. Just to the north, the Longswamp section between Hampton Downs and the Te Kauwhata interchange is getting started, with a completion date of 2018.
People can sign up for detailed updates and see images/video at the website addresses below:
Above Photo: It doesn’t take long to fill this 40-tonne dump truck at the Taupiri Pass area – not when it’s a 180-tonne excavator doing the loading. It takes just two scoops from the big bucket.
Above Photo: This graphic shows where things are at overall on the expressway. Picture 3: Waikato Expressway – Hamilton section Kay Road: This aerial photo taken on 9 December shows expressway earthworks in the foreground and the Kay Road Bridge excavation in the background. The cut will be 20 metres deep before bridge construction begins.