The NZ Transport Agency has decided on a preferred alliance to deliver Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway project.

Portfolio Manager Sarah Downs says the preferred tenderer selected is Advance consortium, made up of Fulton Hogan, HEB Construction Limited, Aurecon Limited and WSP-Opus.

Downs says Advance will become part of the interim project alliance, with an intention to proceed to the delivery of the design, regional consenting and construction of the project.

"The decision in favour of the preferred alliance was made after a comprehensive tendering process, which commenced in September.

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"We had two strong tenders, both demonstrating excellent qualities, and selecting a preferred alliance partner was a difficult decision.

"The team is excited to now be moving into the delivery phase of this important project with our preferred alliance."

Work on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway project began in mid-2017 after a series of slips closed the old State Highway 3 through the Manawatū Gorge.

After extensive consultation with the community and key stakeholders, the Transport Agency identified a preferred route option running to the north of the Manawatū Gorge in early 2018. A Notice of Requirement for the designated new transport corridor for the replacement route was issued earlier this year.

Enabling works for the new route are scheduled to commence in September. Pending further resource consents, full construction is expected to get under way in 2020, with completion of the project in 2024.

The total project cost is estimated at $620 million.

The alliance will be introduced to the public at a series of public information sessions in the Manawatū and Tararua regions in the near future.

More information about the project can be found at https://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh3-manawatu/.

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