Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says she would make four-laning the Hawke's Bay Expressway a priority for the district if she is voted in for a second term.
But the man vying for her job, Damon Harvey, says right now there are other roading priorities around regional transport that need "greater investment".
Hazlehurst said it was time for a rethink about the NZTA-funded expressway, as well as the way the region uses transport, as Hawke's Bay's economy continues to boom.
"We must focus on future-proofing our transport network."
Hawke's Bay was the fastest-growing region in New Zealand for the three quarters