It's hoped drivers will endure less delays on the Pacific Highway between Charlestown and Newcastle once two key intersections are upgraded.
The state government has announced $12 million for major improvements to the Northcott Drive turn off at Adamstown Heights and the Kahibah Road intersection at Highfields.
A concept design will be released late-2018.
“With the intersections close together, they will each share in and multiply the benefits of the upgrade including reduced congestion and improved safety," Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said.
“Planning for the upgrade is progressing well with the contract to develop the environmental assessment for the project now awarded to Umwelt Australia.”
Up to 6,000 vehicles travel through the two intersections every hour during the morning and afternoon peak.