David Bennett: Hamilton ring road joint effort

By MP for Hamilton East, David Bennett

A new section of the Hamilton Ring Road opened on Saturday after months of hard work by all involved.

It was great to see many members of the community at the opening on Saturday and have the opportunity to walk and ride along the completed road.

The section of the ring road features two lanes in each direction, a new overbridge at Carrs Rd and a 3m-wide shared walkway/cycleway.

The Wairere Drive project is a key component of Hamilton City Council's Access Hamilton strategy - the long-term strategy for the city's transport network.

The strategy is a leading example of integrated land use and transport planning and the project is an example of local and central government working together.

The New Zealand Transport Agency provided advance funding to enable the council to start construction of this project ahead of programme.

In total, the National Land Transport Fund will contribute $46.2 million for the construction of the project, which equates to 55 per cent of the total cost of $86m, which represents a substantial investment by central government in roads which generally are not funded out of the Natural Land Transport Fund.

This is a special provision that was set up to advance local roading projects and Hamilton has enjoyed the benefits of this programme.

Residents in the area of the newly-completed section should be commended for their patience towards the construction of this road.

The construction of the ring route road will relieve some of the tension of Peachgrove/Hukanui Roads and Tramway Road. This is long sought-after as residents and commuters suffer with congestion on these roads.

The benefit, however, will be achieved when the ring route road is completed all the way through to Cobham Drive.

The Government has expressed interest in completing this on similar terms to other stages of the project. It would be a great opportunity for the city to complete this project at the time and we look forward to further announcements from the city on this area.

- Hamilton News

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