Auckland is open for new year business, but what about the motorway?
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February 15 will be an exciting day if you’re a regular commuter between Auckland and the Waikato.
That’s when the Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway will open to the public to walk, run, and cycle, a liberating 15km of four-lane highway that takes SH1 east of Huntly across the lowlands and the Taupiri Range.
Celebrations planned for the opening include an official ribbon cutting and the inaugural Expressway Classic half-marathon/fun run on Saturday 14. No official date has been set for the road to open to vehicles as of yet.
The Huntly section of the Expressway is a key element in 102km of four-laning for SH1 that reaches from Bombay all the way to south of Cambridge. We’re nearly there: the Hamilton section will be the last stretch to be completed, in late-2021.
Further north, there will be an additional layer of noise-reducing asphalt added to the Southern Corridor Improvement (SCI) area of SH1 in the new year, from Manukau south to Papakura.
The new surface will mark completion of the SCI, following the opening of an additional fourth southbound lane in November. All lanes north and southbound are now in their “final alignment” says NZTA.
Longer term, the next big SH1 project in the Auckland area is north of the city: construction of 18.5km of four-lane motorway linking the Johnstone’s Hill tunnels to just North of Warkworth is well underway, although it won’t be finished until late 2021.