Construction on the last section of Hamilton's $84 million ring road network will start next month.
The final 2.5 kilometre extension of Wairere Drive, from Ruakura Rd to Cobham Drive, is the last piece in the joint Hamilton City Council/New Zealand Transport Agency project aimed at freeing up the city's roads from peak-time traffic congestion.
Work has finished on the Crosby Rd-Ruakura Rd section of the project, and contractors have nearly completed the Te Aroha St-Peachgrove Rd-Ruakura Rd intersection.
Martin Mould, acting city developments manager at the council, said the ring road was already having a positive impact on traffic flows around the city.
"When the section to Cobham Dr is complete we will have a major arterial road of 12.4km, with shared walkways and cycleways, making it a whole lot easier to get around the city by taking traffic out of residential areas and creating opportunities for walking, cycling and public transport."
Hamilton City Council Project Engineer Chris Barton said the first stage of the extension, from Ruakura Rd to Clyde St, was scheduled to be complete by April 2014.
The second stage, from Clyde St to Cambridge Rd, is expected to be finished by the end of 2014; and the final link, from Cambridge Rd to Cobham Dr, is expected to be finished early 2015.
The extension will run parallel with residential Dey St - splitting it from the park land running between Marist Park and Cobham Drive.
"The existing Dey St road becomes more of a service lane to access the properties," Mr Barton said.
A barrier, separating Wairere Drive and Dey St, had been designed to mitigate noise and separate the two roads visually, he said.
When finished, the arterial will have a shared walking and cycling path running alongside it, and crossings will be provided for cyclists and pedestrians heading east or west.
Last Friday, Hamilton City Council sent a letter to Dey St residents, outlining the projects time-frame and alerting them to two public information evenings to be held at Hamilton Marist Rugby Club.
Speaking to the Times yesterday, Hamilton Marist Rugby Club president Paul McGill said other than losing "a bit of parking", the project would not have too much affect on the club.
"The main thing that is going to affect us is parking on the weekends when we have home games here."
The information evenings will be held at Hamilton Marist Rugby Club (corner of Old Farm Road and Dey St) on Wednesday, June 26, and Monday, July 1, from 3pm to 7pm.
- Waikato Times