As regular road users know all too well moving through Singleton, during peak times, is no easy task.
The five sets of traffic lights and the sheer volume of vehicles on the New England Highway (George Street) plus local traffic navigating its way around town causes congestion that leads to frustration and accidents.
So decades of campaigning for a bypass of the town is now a reality following the awarding of the contract to build the $700 million road that should make George Street pedestrian friendly.
Acciona Constructions Australia has been announced as the successful contractor for the eight-kilometre project. This company is currently working on the upgrade of the Belford to Whittingham section of the New England Highway.
And they will be moving their workforce a bit further up the highway next year thanks to the Federal Government's $560m and the NSW Government $140m funding to deliver the New England Highway bypass of Singleton.
Since early work on the project began in late 2022, fencing has been erected along the corridor, existing buildings demolished, utilities relocated and additional geotechnical investigations have been carried out in preparation for major construction work.
Major work on the bypass is expected to start in mid-2024 and it is due to open to traffic in late 2026, weather permitting.
Speaking in Singleton on Sunday NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Jenny Aitchison said "The Singleton bypass will improve the lives of people living and working right across the Hunter region.
"When the bypass is built motorists will avoid five sets of traffic lights in Singleton's CBD and it'll remove about 15,000 vehicles a day from the town centre - improving safety, slashing travel times and increasing efficiency for all road users."
Federal Member for Hunter Dan Repacholi said "This is the biggest road infrastructure project in Singleton's history and it will benefit so many people who live, work and visit our region.
"Importantly, the project also delivers economic growth and will support more than 1,300 jobs during construction."
Both Minister Aitchison and Mr Repacholi said funding for the Muswellbrook bypass was confirmed but its start date was yet to be determined due to logistics.
"We will have 1300 jobs in Singleton for the bypass which will have a big impact on he district so we have to be aware that starting another major construction project just up the road has to be timed to ensure we have the workforce and the capabilities to get the project built in a timely manner," Mr Repacholi said.