Wairere Drive Extension

Where we are now

The Hamilton Ring Road major arterial transport network is a key component of the Access Hamilton strategy. The extension of Wairere Drive from Crosby Road through to Cobham Drive has been underway since 2011, with over five kilometres now completed along the Eastern side of the city. Once complete it will provide a major arterial corridor designed to take significant traffic flows and enable more people moving around Hamilton now and in the future, whether in cars, walking, or on their bikes.

The focus is now on the final 400m section between Cambridge Road and Cobham Drive including the new intersection with Cobham Drive intersection which will be the final link to complete the Hamilton Ring Road.

Council has now reconsidered the final connection of Wairere Drive to Cobham Drive, and have resolved to progress a traffic overbridge (cars, cycles, and pedestrians etc) over Cobham Drive instead of the previously planned roundabout. The overbridge is part of Southern Links which is the transport network that extends through the Peacockes growth area. Building the traffic overbridge now would provide good connectivity between Wairere Drive and Cobham Drive, and also allow the future access needed to enable significant development in the Peacocke area via a future new bridge extending across the Waikato River.

The roundabout was always planned as an interim step before the traffic overbridge was needed in the future, but with the rapid growth Hamilton is experiencing it is likely to be needed much sooner and so makes sense now to consider the long term solution and avoid the sacrificial costs of a roundabout.

Thorough investigation on how it might integrate with the local environments has been undertaken as part of the recently completed Southern Links designation. This resulted in a comprehensive set of designation conditions including important points where discussion with the community and key stakeholders will continue to take place.​

 Download or view the above concept plan in  ​low resolution or  high resolution.

The change from a roundabout to an overbridge will mean that construction of the last length of Wairere Drive and the new intersection will be delayed. 

Before construction can begin, a lot of design work needs to be carried out, additional land needs to be secured, and resource consents need to be obtained. While it’s too early to offer precise timeframes for completion, the earliest the project is likely to be completed is the 2019/20 summer construction season.

This construction timeframe means our existing roads, especially Cambridge Rd, will continue to cater for traffic for longer than originally planned. Our traffic counts show current levels are lower than originally predicted, although we are continuing to monitor the effects of Hamilton’s growth on our network. 

As investigation and design progresses and once more detailed information is available, Council will hold an information day and invite the community to review plans and to talk to the project team to discuss aspects of the project.

Works to date

Following an extensive consultation process, in 2007 Council was granted a designation for the new section of Wairere Drive extending from Crosby Road in the north through to Cobham Drive in the south. The designation confirmed the alignment of the new road.

In early 2011, construction works commenced on the first section of the extension, from Crosby Road to Ruakura Road.

Through 2013/14 the section from Ruakura Road south to Cambridge Road was constructed and opened. This included new intersections at Clyde Street, Old Farm Road, and Cambridge Road, as well as two mid-block signalised pedestrian crossings and a shared walking and cycling path.

The 2015/16 summer period ended with some good progress. We have completed most of the enabling works with key service relocations now taken care of, and have also completed the new Dey Street service lane. The local residents now have a nice new tidy and safe access to use. This means that residents’ access will now be outside the worksite when the major construction work begins.

Works completed to date include:

  • • New four lane major arterial road
  • • 2 new bridges at Carrs Rd and ECMT railway.
  • • 3 new pedestrian underpasses and 2 new signalised pedestrian crossings
  • • 5.4km of new 3m wide off-road shared (pedestrian and cycle) path along the full length.
  • • Upgrade of Ruakura Rd and the Ruakura Rd / Peachgrove Rd / Te Aroha St intersection.

If you require any further information or have any questions relating to the Wairere Drive Extension project:

Page reviewed: 03 Aug 2016 3:48pm