Waikato Expressway Update

EXCAVATION COMPLETE AT HORSHAM DOWNS ROAD

Excavation of the bridge site on Horsham Downs Road is now complete. The bridge construction team will now establish on-site to build a bridge that will take Horsham Downs Road across the expressway. This is expected to open in late 2019.

SKINKS RELOCATED TO ‘LIZARD HOTEL’

Before we began the excavation at Horsham Downs Road, our environmental staff searched the fringes of the site for native lizards.

23 copper skinks were captured and released to our predator-free ‘lizard hotel’ in the Mangaonua Gully.

FINAL CHIP SEALING UNDER WAY ON RUAKURA ROAD

Chip sealing of the final section of Ruakura Road is now complete. Road marking, sign installation and finishing works will follow. Our roading team will return in the new year to lay ‘low noise’ asphalt on top of the chip seal.

We are also completing the new Ruakura Road link to the Ruakura Interchange located in farmland near the University of Waikato. Road design for the Silverdale Road connection is currently being worked on.

ACTION AND MONITORING IN THE GULLIES

In the section of expressway between SH1 Cambridge Road and Matangi Road, we’re building three bridges. We’ve also busy excavating the expressway route where it crosses the gullies and travels under Matangi Road Bridge.

While we’re working close to our neighbours, we regularly carry out noise monitoring at neighbours’ properties to ensure we’re working within our consented noise limits. Where we are piling for bridges, we also monitor vibration.

BIG CULVERTS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

We’ve begun installing two large culverts in the East West Gully near Birchwood Lane, Tamahere. These culverts are 75m and 110m long, and the largest is 5m in diameter. Once these are in place, we will place fill on top to build the embankment for the link road between Birchwood Lane and Cherry Lane.

The video below shows sheet piling being carried out to stabilise the banks before we begin excavating the path for a culvert. Sheet piles overlap to form a temporary retaining wall to prevent ground slipping into the culvert trench. They are installed and removed using a vibro-hammer.

HAMILTON SECTION PROJECT UPDATE

Pavement construction is now a big focus for the team building the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway. Everyone wants a nice, smooth road to drive on when the 22km route opens in late 2020 and that starts with a solid base, layers of compacted rock, a bitumen chip seal and finally a layer of asphalt.

The November project update gets into the detail of the pavement-building process, from top to bottom, including a look at the blending planting now in action near Lake Road. The expressway project is creating new local roads and changing some existing ones.

So the team are about to start consulting with local communities on finding new road names. The process is explained in the latest update and also through community letters going out.

CONSTRUCTION RAMPS UP IN THE SOUTHERN INTERCHANGE

Completion of the two new lanes in and out of Hamilton will tamp up before and after Christmas. We are placing and compacting a new blend of aggregate called Hi-Lab that provides a more robust road foundation than traditional aggregate blends.

It consist primarily of large rock, with enough finer gravel, sand and cement to bind the rock in place when it is compacted. Starting in December, we will begin laying two layers of asphalt on top of the Hi-Lab. This will be carried out at night, when traffic volumes on SH1 are lighter and won’t interfere with the works or asphalt supply.