A $20m upgrade of Taupo's CBD is set to woo visitors, create more public spaces and drive economic development.
State Highway 1 once ran along the Taupō CBD's lakefront bringing trucks and traffic through the centre of town and separating shops from the scenic view.
With the East Taupō Arterial motorway creating a bypass of urban Taupō, what used to be a state highway is about to become a pedestrianised shared zone.
The transformation is being funded by the Government's infrastructure fund for shovel-ready projects as identified by the Infrastructure Reference Group.
The CBD upgrade, due to be completed by December this year, was one of more than a dozen applications the Taupō District Council submitted for funding.
Mayor David Trewavas said the work would provide the equivalent of 96 full-time jobs.
"Social housing and a lot of road upgrades and all that sort of thing didn't quite make the cut," he said.
"They were looking for employment and vibrancy, so they picked this project."
Taupō Town Centre Transformation Programme delivery manager Ian Gray said the four-pronged project was six months into phase one.
"This is going to change from two roads as we currently see it, and it's going to become a way more pedestrian-friendly space," he said.
"There will be a single carriageway running north through to south.
"The concession spaces, which are the business opportunities to spill out onto the public land, will increase significantly.
"There'll be a range of pathways through to connect with the lake."
Taupō Town Centre general manager Julie McLeod said cafes and restaurants would benefit once the work was complete.
"In the 10 years that I've been in this role, it is definitely the most exciting project that will bring the greatest amount of change and cool opportunities for our businesses," she said.
"The changes are going to bring big areas of outdoor dining looking out to our beautiful lakefront and the new cultural space that is going to be created, so we are really excited about this world-class precinct."