As the Waikato region's biggest roading project hits full steam, travellers will notice a lot of dirt being moved over summer.

The works season is well underway on the Hamilton, Huntly, Longswamp and Rangiriri sections of the Waikato Expressway.


At peak this summer there will be more than 150 pieces of machinery on the 15km Huntly section, including 100-tonne dump trucks, a fleet of motor scrapers and a 180-tonne excavator which arrived recently.


It came on site in pieces and seven trucks were needed to move the pieces in to place.

Its huge bucket bites off 25 tonnes of earth at a time.


NZTA's Waikato state highways manager Niclas Johansson said there was a lot going on.

"We need the community and visitors to take extra care when they are driving around the sites as there will be reduced speeds, new road alignments, temporary roads and other hazards they should look out for."


The Huntly project is into its second season of earthworks – and it will be a big one with the target 2 million cubic metres between October and May.


By comparison, in the project's first season just over 500,000 cubic metres were moved.

Further north the end is in sight for the 4.8km Rangiriri section, which began in 2013.


The project, which includes full interchanges at Rangiriri and Te Kauwhata turnoff, will be completed in April next year.


Just to the north, the Longswamp section, between Hampton Downs and the Te Kauwhata interchange, is getting started, with a completion date of 2018.


On the Hamilton section more than 4 million cubic metres – or 114 rugby fields piled 5 metres high - of soil will be shifted over the next two seasons.

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