The Transport Agency says the opening of a new stretch of State Highway 35 on the East Coast is of huge significance for local people and industry.
Major subsidence in August last year just north of Ruatoria closed the highway for almost a week, hampering food supplies and disrupting local life. The route has been realigned, at a cost of $3.5 million.
Transport Agency regional director Jenny Chetwynd says community support, especially from Maori landowners, has enabled the realignment of the road to be fast-tracked.
She says the new one-kilometre stretch being opened on Saturday will remain unsealed over the winter.