The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is inviting entries for a family fun run which will form part of a community open day being held on December 1 to celebrate the early completion of the Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway, Road of National Significance.
Entries are now open for the fun run and walk, which is being held in partnership with Athletics Waikato Bay of Plenty and Sport Waikato, as part of the official opening ceremonies for the Te Rapa section of the Expressway.
The fun run will be a timed event, held between 8am and 10am, with options for runs of 12km, 6km and a 3km children’s fun run. It is also suitable for wheelchair and hand cyclists.
Waikato Expressway Principal Project Manager Richard Young says the NZTA is looking forward to hosting the Te Rapa open day, which promised to be a memorable community event.
“It will be a chance for people to celebrate the completion of this significant piece of infrastructure for the region and the city and be among the first to run or walk the road before it is opened to traffic.”
People can enter the fun run online at www.sportwaikato.org.nz. The cost of entry is $15 per adult and $5 per child, with all of the money raised from the event going to Athletics Waikato and Bay of Plenty, for volunteer and athletics development.
Following the fun run, the road will be open to the public to walk over, from 10am until 3pm as part of a free community event. A formal opening, including a ribbon cutting by the Prime Minister Rt Honourable John Key will take place between 11am and 12noon.
Sports Force Athletics Development Officer, Alan McDonald says, the fun run and walk presents a unique opportunity for the public.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, because once the expressway is open to traffic people won’t have that chance again,” Mr McDonald says.
The public can enter the site by car at the Horotiu roundabouts, off State Highway 1, north of Hamilton. Site staff will direct traffic for parking. Those walking and cycling can access the road from the new interchange on Avalon Drive by Wintec.
The event will include entertainment throughout the day, food stalls selling healthy food options to purchase and information on how the road was constructed. Visitors are asked to bring sun protection, water and suitable footwear.
Mr Young said the Te Rapa section of the expressway has been completed by the Te Rapa Alliance, made up of the NZTA, Opus International Consultants and contractors Fulton Hogan, six months ahead of schedule and under budget.
Once complete the Waikato Expressway will provide a continuous divided four-lane highway between the Bombay Hills in the north to just south of Cambridge. It will improve safety and reduce travel times and congestion on this key section of State Highway 1.