Approval has been given to build the harbour-side walking and cycling link between Wellington and Lower Hutt.
It is the first project to get the go-ahead under the new Covid fast-track process which largely bypasses the Resource Management Act with the decision made by a panel of experts chaired by an Environment Court judge.
The Transport Agency Waka Kotahi said the Ngā Ūranga to Pito-one section (Ngauranga to Petone) of Te Ara Tupua is the largest walking and cycling project in the region.
It says it expects the number of cycle trips between Wellington and the Hutt to triple.
The project is 4.5km long and 5m wide, on newly created land and coastal structures.
The Cycling Action Network says having a safe route to and from the Hutt is a game-changer that will make living there more desirable.
The area is highly significant to mana whenua of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, and the report by the expert panel praised Waka Kotahi's approach to consulting and engaging with iwi.
Te Ara Tupua Mana Whenua Steering Group chairperson Kim Skelton also welcomed the decision.
"As representatives of Taranaki Whānui, we have worked in close partnership with Waka Kotahi over the last 18 months.
"Working together, we have created a design that speaks directly about our stories of identity and our values as iwi mana whenua, and which acknowledges our history, our tupuna and our significant sites."
Pending funding approval work will begin half-way through the year and will take about three years.
Waka Kotahi estimates the project will generate 125 jobs directly and 300 indirectly, and generate net economic benefits of nearly $190 million.