Ashburton District Council has agreed to the designation of land for a second urban bridge across the Ashburton River at a Council meeting last Thursday.
Following the 20 working day appeal period, during which submitters to the notification of requirement can appeal to the Environment Court, the designation will be confirmed and the District Plan formally changed to reflect the designation.
Council Service Delivery Group Manager Neil McCann says the Council will then incorporate the remaining stages of the project in the Council's next Long Term Plan.
The resource consent process is currently planned to start in 2017 with construction in 2026.
Mr McCann says this shows that NZTA is committed to working with Council to provide effective infrastructure for the community.
"While the bridge is not set to be built until 2026, the land designation will protect the planned route so that it is available when construction starts," he said.
"We recognise this project has not pleased everyone, but we have an obligation as a Council and a community to ensure we get the best result for the future of our town," said Mr McCann.