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Project introduction

The Transport Agency has identified a preferred option for a new State Highway 3 route to connect the Manawatū, Tararua District, Hawke’s Bay and northern Wairarapa, to replace the closed SH3 Manawatū Gorge route.

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Replacement route

Map showing the preferred replacement route. For more information, contact the project team on

Replacement Route map

Road features

Length: 12.4km
from Woodville to Western Gorge entrance
Gradient: Average gradient of 5.8%
Travel time:
13 mins (general), 18 mins (freight)
from Woodville to Stoney Creek Road
Completion: 2024
Safety: 4-Star **** KiwiRAP


Key milestones

Milestone Date Action
Public information sessions (long list options presented) September 2017 Completed
Public information sessions (short list options presented) October 2017 Completed
Preferred option announced Early 2018 Completed
Detailed business case Mid 2018 Completed
Public information sessions (preferred option presented)

July 2018

Lodgement of Notice of Requirement (NoR) for road corridor

October 2018

Public information sessions (project update, including road corridor issues and mitigation)

Palmerston North: Tuesday 6 November 2018
Dannevirke: Wednesday 7 November 2018
Woodville: Thursday 8 November 2018
Feilding: Tuesday 13 November 2018
Pahiatua: Wednesday 14 November 2018
Ashhurst: Thursday 15 November 2018