Wagga City Council is fast approaching its original deadline for sealing Dunns Road but says it has taken the next steps towards upgrading the dangerous stretch.
Council will contribute almost $2.5 million towards the project, which it has said will see the entire road sealed, a "channelised right-hand turn" at the highway intersection, and LED speed limit signs that light up for approaching vehicles.
When Mr McCormack committed additional funding towards the project in December 2019, he said it was expected to be complete by mid-2021, weather permitting.
IN OTHER NEWS:
He has now said council has advised the design and procurement will be finalised by the end of this financial year, with construction now expected to start in mid-2021 and be completed by late 2022, weather permitting.
"Council has indicated this revised scheduled follows delays caused by COVID-19 restrictions," Mr McCormack said.
"Works will include the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Holbrook Road and Dunns Road, the upgrade of the intersection at the Olympic Highway and Dunns Road, installation of Intelligent Transport Signs and wire safety rope along sections of the road.
"The department is in regular contact with Wagga City Council, either via Transport for NSW or directly."
While the overhaul is behind its original schedule, council director of projects and strategy Darren Raeck said a draft detailed design and review of environmental factors had now been finished.
"Council is still working with some external parties to determine certain variables," he said.
"A works package is being prepared and council expects to start the tender process in the near future. This process normally takes about three months."
The important shortcut between the Olympic Highway and Holbrook Road just south of Wagga currently alternates between dirt and sealed surfaces.
Uranquinty Progress Association president Deb Bewick said residents were hopeful the upgrades would be completed "sooner rather than later" after 20 years of local advocacy.
"We know that the money is there because Michael McCormack put in extra. The funding is earmarked for that. So as far as we're aware it's going to happen," she said.
"The road's been a huge issue since it went it ... It's a road in a good place. It needs to be a good road in a good place."