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Queenstown Lakes District Council property and infrastructure general manager Peter Hansby said the NZTA's endorsement of the Way to Go partnership's business case was a "major milestone" for transport improvements in Wakatipu.
Last month the Otago Daily Times reported the two-stage project would cost a total of $134million - the first stage, creating 32km of trails, required a joint investment of $40million from the council and transport agency over five years.
Stage 2 would cost $94million between 2024 and 2030.
Mr Hansby said stage 1, partially funded through the council's long-term plan, was expected to begin this financial year and would include routes from Jacks Point to Frankton and from Lake Hayes Estate north through Frankton to the Frankton Track.
Detailed design was also about to begin on other routes, including from Lake Hayes Estate south to Wakatipu High School and Remarkables Park, across the Kawarau River.