A section of a new off-road cycle trail along Waimarama Rd is less than two months away from completion.
The trail, which is part of the Waimarama Rd Cycle Trail Safety Upgrade project, will run between Te Mata Rd and Craggy Range winery in an attempt to improve safety for cyclists and motorists.
The project will aim to build a "safer, off-road replacement" to a section of the Hawke's Bay Trails Landscapes Ride that runs along the 80km/h road, which has been deemed "a safety risk" by New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Hastings District Council, who jointly funded the development with Hawke's Bay Regional Council, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and the Eastern Central Community Trust, said work is expected to be completed by mid-May.
A HDC spokeswoman said nearly three months into the upgrades, workers have dug out most of the track and are currently fencing the steeper sections of the trail to exclude stock from the newly cut track.
"The next step will involve laying limesand over the hill sections," she said.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst previously said the new trail will help keep cyclists safe along the "problematic" stretch of road.
After Easter weekend, contractors will construct the lower sections of the trail at both ends - Te Mata/Mclean Rd and Craggy Range Rd crossing.
At a hui-ā-hapū with Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga in February last year, the project was endorsed, while Heritage New Zealand archaeological approval was sought and given.
At times during the project, an archaeologist will be onsite when work is being done on critical areas, accompanied by a cultural expert as necessary.
Hastings District Council has also worked with local landowners over alignments and land requirements.
The existing 3km on-road section of the trail is part of the wider 200km Hawke's Bay Trails Landscapes Ride network - one of Aotearoa's 22 Great Rides.