expressway

13 August 2018 Kate Palmer

When complete the Waikato Expressway will be the key strategic transport corridor for the Waikato region, connecting Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

WSP Opus has played a key role in delivering this transformational project that will improve safety and reliability, and reduce travel times and congestion on SH1 by delivering a four-lane highway from the Bombay Hills to south of Cambridge.

Through more efficient movement of people and freight the Expressway will improve economic growth and productivity for Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, while diverting through-traffic from smaller communities and important cultural and historic sites such as the Taupiri Urupa and Rangiriri Pā.

WSP Opus has provided engineering and planning advice to the NZ Transport Agency from early concept stages, right through to construction.

It’s been a formidable project that has tested the expertise of the team but WSP Opus has a long history of providing innovative, affordable and sustainable solutions.

What’s on the surface only tells part of the story though and WSP Opus’ geological and seismic engineers spent almost as much time exploring underground as above.

Ensuring the project is resilient enough to meet the demands of current and future users, and can stand up to the impacts of climate change, has been a key focus. In areas like the major gullies where the ground is susceptible to liquefaction, Geotechnical Engineers from WSP Opus have explored below the ground and designed solutions to keep this important lifeline route open after an earthquake. It also set new standards for best practice. Close collaboration between WSP Opus, the NZ Transport Agency and Waikato-Tainui led to the development of the Waikato-Tainui Mitigation Plan, which won the NZPI 2016 Commendation for Consultation and Participation Strategies and Processes. This resulted in the establishment of protocols and measures to address potential cultural and environmental effects throughout the construction and operation of the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway. It sets a new benchmark for addressing cultural impacts, with a shift in focus from effects mitigation to seizing an opportunity for iwi to reconnect with lost whakapapa and heritage.

Dave Heine, Technical Principal Transportation Engineering

WSP Opus “I am proud and privileged to have worked on the Waikato Expressway project as it will redefine and shape the region in so many ways. WSP Opus creates what matters for future generations and the benefits of this project will be seen for many years to come.”

Our many and varied roles on sections of the Expressway include:

• Route selection and designation for the 60km, largely green-fields, route between Rangiriri and Cambridge
• Longswamp (5.9km) - secondary investigations, detailed design and principal advisor during construction
• Rangiriri (4.8km) – principal advisor during construction • Huntly (15.4km) – detailed design for construction phase
• Te Rapa (8km) – alliance partner and design (completed December 2012) • Hamilton (21.8km) – secondary investigations and principal advisor
• Cambridge and Tamahere (16km) – secondary investigations, and principal advisor during construction
• Economic analysis for the entire expressway. Our history with the Expressway goes back 40 years. Our local, highly skilled team has collaborated on many successful outcomes for the NZ Transport Agency – local knowledge makes a world of difference in projects like this.

Our history with the Expressway goes back 40 years. Our local, highly skilled team has collaborated on many successful outcomes for the NZ Transport Agency – local knowledge makes a world of difference in projects like this.