Changes afoot as SH1 Ngāruawāhia gets up to scratch

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 9, 2024

State Highway 1 travellers will see some major changes as work continues to bring the Ngāruawāhia section of the Waikato Expressway up to 110km/h standard, according to Waka Kotahi.

As median barrier works are completed at the southern end of the 4km worksite, the temporary safety barriers will be moved north to continue median works and complete various pavement treatments in both the north and southbound lanes.

The barrier shift will require a series of night-time closures with traffic using the established detours around the site.

Northbound closures: 11-22 February, Sunday to Thursday, 7pm-5am

Southbound closures: 25 February-7 March, Sunday to Thursday, 7pm-5am

The Ngāruawāhia section is currently under Sunday-Thursday detours for ongoing surfacing works, and these end on Thursday 8 February.

The detour routes are different for each direction due to roadworks in Ngāruawāhia town, which prevent southbound highway traffic using this route as a detour.

The northbound detour takes SH1 traffic via Ngāruawāhia on the old highway between the Horotiu and Gordonton Road interchanges. HPMVs must use SH1B, and overweight vehicles need to use SH2/27, under an existing overweight permit.

Southbound detour traffic will use SH1B, re-joining SH1 via Lake Road, however heavy vehicles (50 tonnes and above) must continue on SH1B, including the local road detour around Telephone Road, and connect to SH1 again at Cambridge or via SH26 into Hamilton

On-going work includes:

  • Reshaping and strengthening the median area
  • Drainage improvements
  • Resurfacing, depending on the existing pavement condition.
  • A final, continuous asphalt surface will complete the repair works, replacing the temporary chipseal and asphalt surfaces which have been in place during earlier temporary repairs and while moisture monitoring was conducted.

The safety improvements needed to bring the road up to 110km/h standard include making side barriers continuous, upgrading some barriers, additional maintenance and turnaround bays for emergency services, shoulder widening and relocating some lighting.

The works are expected to finish in mid-2025 although Waka Kotahi and its contractors are continuing to look at programming and resources to have the work finish earlier.