A contract worth NZ$2bn to find the ideal route for the development of the Puhoi-to-Wellsford Road has been awarded by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

The planned corridor will be almost 38km long, and include a bypass of both Warkworth and Wellsford.

The Puhoi-to-Wellsford section, in the Northern tip of the country, is expected to be complete within ten years.

Sinclair Knight Mertz (SKM) said it will take 15 months to complete the investigation work.

The company has to examine the location and form of road, social impacts such as noise, air quality and the effect on the local community, the tangata whenua, and the cultural impacts of potential routes and property impacts.

SKM will also take into account geotechnical and topography considerations, ecological impacts, the affect of the road on historic areas, connections to the local road network and walking and cycling access during the investigation.

NZTA’s acting regional director for Auckland and Northland Tommy Parker said SKM consultants will help it deliver a high quality solution that will help reduce congestion, improve safety and encourage economic growth.