Preparations are underway today for work to start on the upgrade of Cessnock Road at Testers Hollow.
The Federal and NSW Governments are jointly funding the $17 million project to reduce the impact of flooding and improve connectivity.
Maitland State MP Jenny Aitchison said the work was long overdue.
“It was promised four years ago, they had to do flood checks, but the reality is we were told before the 2019 election work would start then, so I don’t know what the hold-up was,” she said.
“We have had three to four years of drought, we know there is significant rain predicted this year, but we’ll take it (the upgrade).”
Transport for NSW has recently awarded the contract to Daracon to build the new, two lane road that will be 1.5 metres higher than the existing road.
A site office and compound on Cessnock Road at the southern end of the project will be in place from today.
It will be used to house site offices and store materials, as well as provide access to the project.
Safety barriers are also being installed in preparation for road surveying activities tonight.
Ms Aitchison added it was important for the project to be done properly.
“I have had some concerns about the fact it’s not going to be dual lane both sides,” she said.
“Some people are saying that’s a lost opportunity as the growth in that area is phenomenal and it’s a main arterial road.”
Work will be undertaken between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday, and between 8am and 1pm on Saturday.
There will be some temporary traffic changes to ensure the work zone is safe.
Lane closures and a 40km/h speed limit will be in place during work hours and may affect travel times.