Work is progressing behind-the-scenes for the $8.2 million Grain Valley Road upgrade.
Gunnedah Shire Council's chief engineer Dan Noble said local survey and design company, Stewart Surveys, was recently engaged to undertake an unmanned aerial survey of the road.
"We have received the survey data from the consultant and are currently testing the data before we proceed further," Mr Noble said.
"Following that, the design team will commence detailed design works before the tendering process can begin - this is projected for August 2019.
"Construction is expected to commence in December 2019."
Mullaley residents are keen to see construction start on the 17.4km of unsealed road after state government funding for the project was announced in November 2018.
When the road is sealed, it will make a big difference to Geraldine and Alston McKay, who own an on-farm bakery and are forced to travel longer distances to avoid the notorious gravel road.
This costs our community every day.Geraldine McKay, Mullaley resident
The couple recently purchased a new fridge and the delivery driver had to go through Gunnedah because Grain Valley Road was too rough.
"I explained to him the condition of the road and he said, 'Oh, no, I can't do that in my truck' and I said, 'I don't want a dirty delivery either'," Mrs McKay said.
"He had to go through Gunnedah and come back around, so it cost him more in wages for the day."
After more than 10 years of lobbying for the road to be sealed, Mrs McKay said she was "chomping at the bit" to see work start.
"I do understand there are checks and balances and they have to get things right, but I think they need to get a wriggle on," she said.
"This costs our community every day."
Mr Noble said the project timeline was "consistent with the funding agreement".