The construction of the Morpeth Northern bypass moved a step closer this week as new roadside information boards were installed.
Provided the secretary of state for transport approves the £30m scheme, construction will start in the spring of 2015 and is expected to take 18 months to complete.
The inspector appointed by the Planning Inspectorate has made his report after a full and detailed examination and a decision by the secretary of state is expected by mid-January 2015.
The scheme is the second phase of the A1 to south east Northumberland link road.
It will create a 3.8km long bypass to the north of Morpeth, running from Whorral Bank roundabout to the A1 trunk road between Fairmoor and Lancaster Park. Phase two follows the successful completion, in 2007, of the Pegswood bypass.
Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment, said: “We are progressing well through the legal process that is required for such a major scheme.
“The new bypass will open up new areas for development and alleviate traffic pressures in Morpeth town centre and surrounding villages.”