An extension linking Whanganui's Fitzherbert Ave with Mosston Rd could be well under way by December - provided there are roading contractors available to do the job.
Survey and design will take place during the next few weeks. After that tenders will be called for the construction, to begin in the summer of 2021, Whanganui District Council senior roading engineer Brent Holmes said.
Fitzherbert Ave has always been a major road for Whanganui, and its extension will get trucks in and out of town faster.
"It will channel freight to and from the Castlecliff industrial centre quickly and efficiently, and away from schools and other subdivision activity," Holmes said.
Fox Rd is now the quickest route between Fitzherbert Ave and Mosston Rd but Holmes predicted it will get less traffic when Fitzherbert Ave is linked to Mosston Rd.
The extension has been planned since 2010 and only 1km of new road is needed. The council already owned a 23m wide roading reserve making the link, and only needed an extra hectare of land.
That was acquired mainly through land swaps with the adjoining owners and those agreements were finalised three weeks ago.
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The extension is not a straight line extending from Fitzherbert Ave. Instead it veers slightly north, to move the intersection 150m away from the Broadview Lifecare entrance and a blind corner.
The new piece of road will be 14m wide from kerb to kerb, with two wide lanes, parking on both sides and enough space for a shared pathway. Broadview residents will be able to use the pathway to get to town on their mobility scooters.
The intersection will have dedicated right and left turning lanes on Mosston Rd, where the speed limit will remain 60km/h.
From Mosston Rd trucks will either head south to the Heads Rd industrial area or turn east on to Mill Rd to get to the new Mill Rd industrial area.
The land is now being surveyed. Then the extension will be designed, with construction tenders called for during the winter months.
Holmes is hoping to have a successful tenderer ready to start construction next summer. But he said with so many roading projects going on in New Zealand it could be difficult to find a contractor.
The construction should be easy on flat, swampy land, with minimal earthwork and no known archaeological issues.
If a council plan change opening up 60ha of Springvale land for housing is agreed, there could eventually be 600 houses on side roads in the Springvale/Castlecliff area from Fox Rd across to the Titoki Wetland.
Extending a quick access route to Castlecliff by upgrading Manuka St could happen in the next three years, Holmes said, depending on where housing is built.