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Headline: $1B go-ahead for Waikato Expressway

The approval of over a billion dollars in spending on a major trade route through the Waikato shows the Government’s commitment to unlocking New Zealand’s potential for economic growth Transport Minister, Simon Bridges says.

Work on the remaining three sections of the Waikato Expressway is set to get underway this year, following approval by the NZ Transport Agency Board to spend $1.08 billion on the construction of the Hamilton and Longswamp sections.

Once complete, the expressway will extend 102km from the intersection of State Highway 1 and 2 at the base of the Bombay hills in the north, to just south of Cambridge. The continuous, divided four-lane highway will reduce the length of State Highway 1 by 6km.

Mr Bridges says the approval means that all seven sections of the expressway will be built, under construction or out to tender by the end of 2015, thanks to total Government investment of around $2 billion.

“The Waikato Expressway is one of seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) identified by the Government as key to supporting the economy and business growth. 

“The expressway is a vital piece of infrastructure that will become the key strategic transport corridor for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural, tourism and business centres in the wider Waikato and Bay of Plenty hinterland.

“This improved connectivity will increase capacity while reducing travel times, fuel and vehicle operating costs, and will dramatically reduce the number and severity of accidents”, he says.

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