National commits to extending Waikato Expressway

National’s plan to create jobs and boost the economy will include a new four-lane expressway between Cambridge and Piarere, National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced. The new 16-kilometre, four-lane motorway will connect the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway to the intersection of State Highway 1 and State Highway 29.

“This logical extension of the Waikato Expressway will help bring the country’s most important transport corridor between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga up to world-class standard,” Mr Muller says.

The Cambridge to Piarere Expressway will feature:

  • A continuous four-lane state highway (two lanes each way)
  • A median barrier separating traffic travelling in opposite directions
  • Wide lanes and wide, sealed shoulders
  • Mainly grade-separated intersections
  • Safe roadsides clear of obstacles and ditches
  • A new roundabout at the intersection of SH1 and SH29

The expressway is estimated to cost approximately $570 million. Construction will begin in our first term of Government.

"The Waikato Expressway drives our economy forward, moving large volumes of freight and commercial activity across the upper North Island,” Mr Muller says.

Extending the expressway toward the major export port of Tauranga will help stimulate economic activity for the whole country.

“National knows we need efficient and resilient transport networks to ensure faster travel times.”

The new expressway will also address safety issues. There were 121 crashes along the Cambridge to Piarere route between 2013 and 2017, with 22 deaths or serious injuries. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) estimates the number of deaths and serious injury crashes will reduce by more than 70 per cent through these improvements.

“This project was progressing under the last National Government only to be cancelled by Labour following its $5 billion cut to the state highway budget in 2018,” Mr Muller says.

“The community has fought back since then – led by local MPs Louise Upston, David Bennett, Tim van de Molen and Tim Macindoe – with campaigns, petitions and public meetings.

“It made no sense to cancel this expressway. National will build it.

“After three years of no progress we need to get on with this expressway as soon as possible to ease congestion, save lives, create jobs and stimulate our economy.

“Motorists have been shafted by the clumsy and incompetent Labour-led Government, which has spent three years hiking fuel taxes and delivering no quality transport infrastructure in return.

“Only National has the track record of delivery and the competent team to get quality infrastructure built and get New Zealand moving again.”

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