A new biking and walking link will connect Bethlehem and Gate Pa via a bridge across the Takitimu Drive toll road.
The new link will open in May 2018, says Tauranga City Council.
The first phase of work started this week to build a shared pathway that links from the future bridge site back into the Kopurererua walking and biking network.
A track closure is required during the pathway construction.
The pathway that runs along the western side of the Kopurerua Stream is currently closed 8am-5pm weekdays until December 22, and will be closed again 8am-5pm on weekdays from January 8 until the new path is completed in February.
The pathway on the eastern side of the stream will remain open.
The Takitimu Bridge will be assembled alongside the highway early next year before it is moved into position near Westridge Drive in April 2018.
The bridge design has had input from Tauranga City Council, Ngai Tamarawaho and the NZ Transport Agency.
The overall route will provide options for getting to school and work as well as recreational use.
A second, smaller bridge will be built over the Kopurerua Stream near Wylie Street. It will follow a similar design to existing bridges in the valley.
The two bridges and new pathway are a $3 million Urban Cycleways Programme project jointly funded by the Urban Cycleways Fund and Tauranga City Council.