December 11, 2020
Iwi backing speeds up Manawatu Gorge road replacement
Transport Minister Michael Wood says an alliance between the transport agency Waka Kotahi and Manawatū and Hawkes Bay iwi has set a great example for major infrastructure projects.
Mr Wood this morning broke ground for Te Ahu a Tūranga: Manawatū Tararua Highway.
The iwi alliance has allowed fast approval of the $620 million project to build 11 kilometres of new highway between Ashhurst and Woodville, replacing the former SH3 route through the Manawatū Gorge.
As well as the road and a separate cycle path, the project includes planting 46 hectares of native forest, protecting and enhancing 48 ha of existing forest, undertaking pest control in 300ha of forest reserve and rehabilitating 28km of streams through planting 110ha of plants around waterways.
Mr Wood says it will create hundreds of jobs and has a target to employ 60 per cent locals.
The highway is expected to be completed at the end of 2024.
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