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The Dunedin City Council hopes to have "engaged" the designers for the new $15.85 million stretch of State Highway 88 past Forsyth Barr Stadium within the next three or four weeks.
On Friday, the New Zealand Transport Agency board approved $450,000 for the design phase of the project.
Council transportation planning manager Don Hill said yesterday the "very last bits" of the concept plan were being finalised before the design job went out for tender.
Mr Hill hoped the design would be finished before the end of the calendar year when it would go to an agency general manager.
If the design was approved, construction contracts would be let in February or March next year.