Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan said a Government commitment to invest a further $4.4 billion in projects outside of Wellington city means there is money for the Ō2NL Expressway.
But NZTA is far more cautious, saying funding is being looked at but has yet to be allocated.
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan welcomes Cabinet's endorsement of the multi-billion dollar Let's Get Wellington Moving proposal to address Wellington city's transport woes.
Mayor K Gurunathan says progress can't come quick enough.
"Kāpiti residents are fed up," he said.
"With more than 5000 Kāpiti residents travelling in and out of Wellington each day, for work, hospital appointments, business connections or to connect with family and friends, we need a reliable transport system that caters to the existing demand and helps foster future development.
"While there's been significant investment in Roads of National Significance which has improved our District's resilience and provided for safer journeys in and out of Wellington city, traffic continues to grind to halt once you hit the Ngauranga Gorge.
"This will only get worse once the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway and Transmission Gully are complete," said the Mayor.
"There is an economic, environmental, and unquantifiable and personal cost to this and after decades of dithering it's about bloody time something starts happening.
"Clearing this transport choke point is one area where regional mayors clearly agree that what's good for Wellington is good for all of the region.
"It's time for the region as a whole to get behind this commitment and we're hopeful that today's announcement will see a transformational shift in how people move between the CBD and the airport."
While the Let's Get Wellington Moving package is targeted to Wellington city, it is proposed that a further $4.4 billion is made available over the next 30 years for transport projects outside of the city.
"The commitment to invest a further $4.4 billion in projects outside of Wellington city means we can have confidence in our ability to secure funding to electrify commuter rail services from Waikanae to Ōtaki," the Mayor said.
"It also means the NZ Transport Agency has access to the funds they need to extend the expressway north of Ōtaki to Levin," he said.
"The LGWM proposal includes a $4.4 billion (inflated) allowance from the National Land Transport Fund for other projects in the Wellington region over the next 30 years," NZTA's Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight said.
"It is important to note that this funding has been not been committed and funding decisions are always made in the context of funding availability and nationwide funding priorities.
"The preferred corridor for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway has been identified and the next step is to investigate and develop the best location for the expressway within that preferred corridor.
"Funding for this work is currently being considered against funds available nationally.
We will then obtain Resource Management Act approvals, including having the land designated to provide for the construction and operation of the project.
"Once funding is approved, we will work towards having a designation in place within approximately two to three years."