The Tararua District Council have made an emphatic statement to the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Government, there's only one option for the replacement for State Highway 3 through the Manawatu Gorge, option four.

Option four has the longest construction time frame and the highest cost, but Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis is adamant it's the best long-term solution.

"We need to present a strong, cohesive view and stand up for what we want - option four."

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Option four, south of the Manawatu Gorge, is estimated to cost between $450 million and $550m and take between six and seven years to complete.

"There are a lot of land negotiations needed for option four, so a six-year time frame is realistic, but we [district council], would like to see time knocked off that. I can see the economic benefit, but there is still pain to go through, " Mrs Collis said.

Deputy mayor Allan Benbow, who is a member of the NZTA business case study group which is analysing all four options, agrees with Mrs Collis.

"I fully support it and it's important option two, upgrading the current Saddle Rd, is taken off the table," he said.

"Option four is almost direct, the gradients and curvatures are good and it will have crawler lanes. It will be a great route and the most direct to Palmerston North."

Mrs Collis said stress and anxiety levels, already high, would go through the roof if option two was chosen, and district councillor Alison Franklin said the Saddle Rd option was "ludicrous".

Mr Benbow said because of the low cost of the Saddle Rd upgrade - $300m to $400m - he believed NZTA had been obliged to put it in among the four short-listed options.

Councillor Jim Crispin insisted every effort should be made to ensure the build period for option four didn't run to seven years.

"I'd like to think the consent phase will be short."

And councillor Shirley Hull agreed.

"Councillor Crispin is right on the button, speed is essential," she said.

Mr Benbow is meeting with the business case study group on Thursday, November 2 and said he will be making sure they are well aware it's about getting things done quickly.

"We'll be starting to whittle down the options to two, but I'm right behind option four."