Finally, light is at the end of the tunnel for the growing number of motorists who use Cessnock Road, with improvements to Testers Hollow set to start in weeks and an early 2023 completion date set.
Last month Transport for NSW announced that Daracon Contractors Pty Ltd had been awarded the contract for the $17 million upgrade.
Work is being carried out following the opening of the Hunter Expressway and residential boom in Gillieston Heights and Heddon Greta.
Testers Hollow is the area between Gillieston Heights and Cliftleigh, along Cessnock Road.
New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the Australian and NSW governments had invested in the upgrade to reduce the impact of flooding and improve connectivity.
A spokesperson for Transport NSW said this week: "Transport for NSW is about to start the upgrade of Cessnock Road at Testers Hollow - a project which will raise the height of the road to provide a more reliable connection during flood events."
"Construction is due to start later this year and is expected to be completed in early 2023, weather permitting."
The heavily used road was cut off by flooding six times in 10 years. Frustrated residents started a petition to see Testers Hollow raised after floodwater isolated Gillieston Heights following the April 2015 superstorm.
The upgrade involves building a new two-lane road at a level about 1.5 metres higher than the existing road to keep this stretch high and dry even during heavy rainfall.
The Australian Government has announced funding of $15 million and the NSW Government has provided $2 million in funding for the upgrade.