A major milestone in the project to build a safe and efficient replacement for the Manawatū Gorge road will take place in Woodville next week.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford will be Woodville for the signing of the Te Ahu a Turanga Manawatū Tararua Highway Project Alliance Agreement.

The signing will take place on Tuesday, August 11 at 11am at Te Ahu a Turanga Marae in Tay St.

Ground investigations on the new route are underway and enabling works are due to start in October, subject to consent approvals. The main works are set to start in January.

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The $620 million project is due for completion by December 2024.