The revamp of the Drews Ave streetscape is starting to take shape with a new road mural at the centre of the new design.
The new mural will be completed over the next few weeks.
Whanganui Town Centre project manager Ellen Young said the road art would mark the area as somewhere special.
"People will have to be patient with waiting to see the final design," she said.
"Right now the first coats of paint are going on and it will look quite different once it's complete, with all of the details added," Young said.
"This applies to the construction too, with plants and other features yet to go in."
The road art and construction will be finished in time for the Drews Ave street party celebration which will run alongside this year's Lights on Bikes parade on June 25.
Whanganui artists Cecelia Kumeroa and Jodi Clark have worked with the Whanganui Town Centre Regeneration team to come up with the design and experienced street artists Si Ormerod and Dan Mills are painting the design on the road.
Young said the overall concept behind the artwork is unity.
"Amongst other things, the design includes the saw-edged niho taniwha pattern representing protection and a rau kumara design symbolising the growth of creativity and ideas."
She said the artwork had a practical function.
"Research shows that applying this kind of large-scale art to the road slows traffic passing through, making it safer for visitors in a destination area like this."
Other changes to the streetscape will include greenery, seating and an outdoor gallery space with lightboxes featuring UCOL student art.
Shanti Sibbing, who is organising the combined Lights on Bikes and Drews Ave street party event, said the event was free and open to everyone.
This year's parade will follow a shorter route, heading down Drews Ave to the river, along the river boardwalk and Taupo Quay to Bates St then looping back through Pākaitore Moutoa Gardens and Rutland St to Drews Ave.
"People will be able to travel around the circuit numerous times, enjoying the performers, installations and good vibes along the way," Sibbing said.
Live music will begin in Drews Ave around 7pm and there will also be food trucks, face painting and entertainment.
Ninety per cent of the Drews Ave project is funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency's Innovating Streets fund.
Community feedback will be collected over a year to assess whether the installations should be removed, changed or made permanent.
• People can gather at the corner of Drews Ave and Rutland St at 6pm on June 25 for the Lights on Bikes parade, which leaves at 6.30pm.