This 22km long section of the multi-billion dollar Waikato Expressway bypasses the settlement of Cambridge improving the connections between Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. The Cambridge and Tamahere bypass is expected to reduce travel times, improve road safety and have a significant impact on freeing up the town centre from historic, and increasing, heavy traffic loads.
Within the scope was the architectural design of eight pedestrian and/or vehicular bridges, including the Karapiro Bridge, which is only 3m lower than Auckland Harbour Bridge.
These bridge designs were a collaboration in consultation with local iwi, their colourful abutments referencing the underlying alluvial geology of the area.
In addition, a surrounding 500,000sqm allowed us to reintroduce native plantings on to cut and fill embankments, as well as screening for residential areas, and the inclusion of native bat habitats, preservation of waterways and construction of wetlands. The arrangement of plantings, landforms and architecture reinforces and reestablishes gateways into Cambridge.
With the road transiting through rural pastureland and river environments, all landscaping and planting incorporated in the project supports local ecology. As part of this, around 365,000 native and exotic plants have been reintroduced, with the corridor left unplanted to maintain visual connections with these environments and views to distant maunga, wherever possible.