Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has released what it calls a refined draft of the route for Ō2NL.
It shows the route has been adjusted at nine points. The agency said this is the result of input from local property owners, iwi, and stakeholders as well as the community and technical assessments.
The four-lane Ōtaki to north of Levin highway and shared path will make travel between Ōtaki and Levin safer and less susceptible to disruption. It will also increase transport choices and enable economic growth in the region.
Director of regional relationships Emma Speight said the latest announcement is part of the 18-24 month process to give property owners and the community more certainty about the location of the new road.
"This process incorporates property owner and community feedback with the technical investigations we are currently conducting to identify the best location for the new highway.
"We are currently providing an update to property owners within the preferred corridor, letting them know if there are any adjustments to the draft alignment in their area. We greatly appreciate the community's patience while we work through this process."
Property owners have already been informed.
The agency is now ready for the next stage, during which it will look at road elevation and key structures, and understanding environmental and social effects such as possible noise or visual impacts, and considering how these can be avoided, minimised or mitigated.
The preferred alignment will be used as a basis to prepare the road designation Notice of Requirement and resource consent applications in 2022. Further adjustments will be needed as Waka Kotahi completes this work and completes land requirement plans.
Safety reviews of all state highways within Horowhenua are ongoing.
The tenders for the physical safety improvement work on SH57, including a roundabout at Queen St/Arapaepae Rd, closed in February. Construction is due to begin in the coming months.
Also on SH57, the speed review on the road between the SH1 intersection and Shannon is being progressed to consultation phase following assessments and engagement with the community in mid-2020. Consultation is expected to open in the next month.
Safety improvements and speeds on SH1 between Ōtaki and the Manawatū River are also being considered this year. The engagement period for the areas between Ōtaki and south of Levin is expected in the coming months, while Levin to the Manawatū River will be later in the year.
The Ō2NL project received $817 million from the NZ Upgrade Programme and is due to be completed in 2029.