Hamilton City Council’s Wairere Drive extension from Cambridge Road to Cobham Drive will partially open from today to ease traffic impacts while work is completed on the Cobham Drive interchange.
The newly opened section of Wairere Drive will allow traffic travelling south along Wairere Drive (towards Naylor Street) to continue straight through to a left turn onto Cobham Drive, and traffic travelling along Cobham Drive to make a left turn onto Wairere Drive towards Naylor Street.
The Wairere Drive extension will be blessed by tangata whenua representatives this morning and open for use from this afternoon.
“It’s important to note that this is not a final opening of the Wairere Drive extension, due to the limited movements in and out of the Cobham Drive intersection while the interchange is being completed,” said Hamilton City Council’s Development General Manager, Chris Allen.
“However, encouraging traffic to now use this route will help to lessen traffic congestion on Cambridge Road and the other local streets in this area.”
Delays relating to COVID and constraints on material supplies have meant the interchange is now expected to be completed and fully open from September this year, he said.
The Wairere Drive extension will initially have a chipseal surface, with final asphalt surfacing to be completed in six to 12 months.
“While this section is open, some lane closures may be required at various times and traffic management will remain in place. It will be important for motorists to continue being careful when traveling in this area, particularly those giving way to state highway traffic when using the ramps,” said Mr Allen.
“It’s an exciting time as we draw closer to having this important connection in our transport network completely operational. We appreciate your patience as we work through the final phases of the project.”
When the project is complete, Cobham Drive will be raised to allow the four-laned Wairere Drive extension to pass underneath and connect to the future bridge over the Waikato River to Peacocke.
The total project cost to build the final section of the Ring Road is $62 million, of which 72% is funded by central government through Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.