The Chamber is a strong proponent of Southern Links as a means to drive economic growth in the west of Hamilton and the wider region, and following the completion of the Waikato Expressway to the east of the city, complete the city's roading network.
Like a lot of Waka Kotahi’s projects, the idea for Southern Links has been around for decades. With the huge success of the Waikato Expressway and the prosperity it conferred on Cambridge and Ruakura, this project delivers similar opportunity for the Waikato, unlocking as it does the Southwest of our region to Te Awamutu and potentially the King Country.
The current government has not achieved any significant economic growth from its focus on trains; perhaps a pivot to Southern Links is long overdue?
Why is it important and what can it deliver?
The bypass of Hamilton immediately reduced congestion in Hamilton by 17%.
The Southwest of Waikato is long overdue investment in State Highway 3, and Southern Links will start the work of an Expressway to Otorohanga and Te Kuiti.
Southern Links opens up huge tracts of land for industrial, commercial and residential development, including the big Peacocke development, the Waikato Regional Airport and its smart Titanium Park development.
Crucially the plan links State Highway 1 and 3 with an Expressway and sorts out that highly dangerous Narrows Bridge. Those who have run that gauntlet over the years heading to Fieldays or to catch a plane will have many stories of meeting and then dodging trucks and tractors with millimetres to spare.