The Transport Agency says it can now go ahead and award the contract for New Zealand's biggest road project.
The Environmental Protection Authority has formally granted consent for the $2 billion Waterview Connection.
The road will form a missing link between State Highway 20 to State Highway 16 and provide an alternative route from north to south. Most of the 5km motorway will run through tunnels.
Completion of the route on the list of the Government's roads of national significance.
The Transport Agency says it has a short-list of groups to construct the motorway and plan to make an announcement on who will get the job by the end of August.
It says it will know then whether the cost of the project has changed.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce says he has been happy with the process and the level of public consultation.