Roading bosses have signalled their intention to tweak the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway to allow for a better link with a proposed inland hub at Ruakura.
NZ Transport Agency is expected to lodge a notice of requirement later this month to alter the designation for the section.
The move will allow for an interchange at Ruakura linking the expressway with the proposed $3 billion Ruakura Inland Port development. An interchange close to the Ruakura development would also limit the amount of freight traffic on local roads.
If the Ruakura interchange goes ahead, there will be no connection where the expressway crosses Morrinsville road as currently designated.
The Environmental Protection Authority hearing on the proposed Ruakura inland port will be held in May.
NZTA project services manager Peter Simcock said the agency did not want to complicate the hearing process so it was likely their notice of requirement application would be place on hold rather than formally notified at this stage.
"By lodging the alteration to designation for the Hamilton section we hope to provide clarity in regards to our intentions . . .," Mr Simcock said.
Construction of the 21.8km section is expected to start next year and be completed by 2019. The Hamilton section is estimated to cost between $600 and $700 million.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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