Transport for NSW has called for tenders for the Cessnock Road upgrade at Testers Hollow.
The tender is to raise the height of the road at Testers Hollow by 1.5 metres to provide a more reliable connection during certain flood events.
It comes after a long-running campaign to flood-proof the stretch of road that is an important route that connects Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Maitland and the surrounding communities.
Extensive residential development at Gillieston Heights and Cliftleigh, and the opening of the Hunter Expressway brought the issue to a head after floods had cut the heavily used road six times in 10 years.
The road's closure also forces thousands of motorists to use alternative routes as it is one of Maitland's main connections to the Hunter Expressway.
The call for tenders follows site investigations, environmental assessment and design work in preparation for the new 900-metre section of road.
Member for Cessnock Clayton Barr welcomed the news that the long-awaited works are one step closer.
"The road improvements have been a long time coming. I have been calling on the government to fix Testers Hollow for over nine years, and it is great to finally see some movement in the right direction," Mr Barr said.
"The road provides a vital artery for Kurri Kurri and Cessnock residents who regularly use the road to connect with Maitland and surrounding areas."
The NSW Government has allocated $2 million to the project with the federal government contributing $15 million.
READ MORE: Testers plan is 'just about flooding'