Huntly Expressway open this weekend - with a catch
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February is a milestone month if you’re a regular commuter on the Waikato Expressway. Friday the 14th marks the official completion of the Huntly section: 15km of four-laning which directs traffic away from a traditional congestion point through the town.
It links the Expressway sections at Ohinewai in the north and Ngāruawāhia in the south.
Excited about this new motorway? You can celebrate with… a walk or run.
Opening celebrations do not mean the road is open. NZTA says the date for the road to be cleared for traffic is “to be confirmed”, in order to prevent people queuing up to be among the first and create yet more congestion.
The site will be blessed by iwi on Friday February 14, followed by a formal event and lunch on the highway for officials and invited guests.
On Saturday the 15th the road will be open to the public to walk, run, cycle and bus along the new stretch of tarmac.
From 7am on Saturday is the Expressway Classic half marathon, starting at Te Iringa Lagoon (about 4km from the southern end) and running out-and-back over the Taupiri Range to the northern interchange.
There are shorter races for both runners and walkers from the same start point, at intervals through to 8.30am.
The race is capped at 10.30am, at which time the area will open to the general public for walking, cycling and bus rides.
Shuttle bus routes will include visits to two pā sites restored just off the road as part of the project’s Cultural Symbolism Plan.
The new section of the Expressway has been designed for a 110km/h speed limit. However, when it does open to traffic it will initially be capped at 100km/h while the NZTA undertakes auditing and public consultation.