Iwi representatives in Waikato are praising the consultation process over the design of the southern-most stage of the Waikato Expressway.
The contract was announced on Thursday for the section between Tamahere and Cambridge, which will cost $250 million.
The expressway will eventually link Auckland and Cambridge.
Ngati Koroki Kahukura and Te Whakaminenga O Haua have worked closely with the design team over a number of years.
A spokesperson Rangi Kaukau says urupa or ancient burial grounds, burrow-pits and a pa site (Maori fortified village) were discovered along the planned corridor of the new road.
She says the consultation allowed for the wahi tapu (sacred) sites to be avoided in the final design.