The New Zealand Transport Agency has confirmed the final route to replace the Manawatu Gorge.
The route will run near Te Apiti carpark western entry of the closed Manawatu Gorge, across the Ruahine Ranges north of the Gorge, before emerging at Woodville.
New Zealand Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Emma Speight says that the chosen route is the safest and most beneficial to the communities, businesses and road users who will use it.
The new route will be 12.4km long with the estimated drive time to be 13 minutes, which is 3.7 minutes shorter than the old Manawatu Gorge road.
New Zealand Transport Agency are also looking into a Regional Freight Ring Road which will include a second road bridge across the Manawatu River which will reduce the number of trucks passing by Palmerston North.
Speight says she understands the importance of the road replacement to the communities nearby. She believes that the chosen route will re-establish a key strategic transport and freight link that supports the needs of the people and economies of Central New Zealand.
The new route will be completed by 2024.