Drove down the Waikato Expressway. Turns out this was not the best move (for my mood) admittedly.
There’s a section of the Waikato Expressway north of Hamilton that has been reduced to 1 lane each way and 50 km/h for what feels like coming to a year. This is the Junction between SH1 and SH1C. The issue here northbound is that 4 lanes effectively go down to one.
I don’t drive down this route regularly as I live out in Auckland, but the lack of progress each time I do drive down that way is particularly striking. And each time I come to a complete halt in that section, I have time for my eyes to wander and noticed a lot of this equipment (barriers, porta-loos, diggers, rollers, etc) is hired. I’m picking it will be us, the taxpayer who is ultimately picking up the tab for all this hired equipment to be laying dormant.
I feel the situation with our infrastructure works now warrants a more urgent look in. This isn’t the first and this certainly won’t be the last. I feel it’s is entirely appropriate to question what is going on and for the likes of Waka Kotahi to explain to the public in layman’s terms what is involved and what is perhaps blocking up the progress.
Edit 1: To add, just found this pamphlet. It looks like those at the grassroots / front line workers have been getting all the heat from the public. This is not where the indignation should be directed at. It should be directed at Management overseeing these projects. That said, I totally understand the public frustration and Waka Kotahi / Higgins absolutely need to be grilled on this – but I certainly don’t condone abuse to the front line road workers.
Edit 2: 9th June 2023 – Just Heard back from NZTA , they’ve said the leasing is done by Higgins and is their own business (arrangements). NZTA agree that the works have been slow and under resourced. Will try and reach out to Fletchers / Higgins and see what is up with that project given the national significance of the road.