Mullaley's Geraldine McKay "nearly did a little happy dance" when she saw work starting on the notorious Grain Valley Road.
An unsealed stretch of the road has long been a safety issue for both locals and travellers, but that is all changing now that Gunnedah Shire Council has started the $8.2 million upgrade.
It is a sight for sore eyes for the community, which has been lobbying for more than 10 years for the remaining 17.6km of road to be sealed.
"I nearly did a little happy dance when I saw them on there," Mrs McKay said.
"Here we were thinking we'd never live long enough to see it happen ... [I'm] counting the days until we actually get to drive on it."
Mrs McKay said she was glad the local, state and federal governments were "working together to make it happen".
"No matter how frustrated we are with the timeframe, every kilometre makes it that much better," she said.
She even thinks a party might be in order when it is finished in 2021.
Fellow resident and school bus driver, Russell Keam, has been a long-time campaigner for the cause and said it would be "great to drive down here without the dust and the bus shaking to bits".
At the sod-turning on Friday, Parkes MP Mark Coulton said he drove the road regularly and understood the community's concerns about safety.
He praised the community for running a "very well-organised but respectful campaign", which convinced the three levels of government of "the importance of this road".
"I certainly look forward to using this road as well as everyone who lives here."
Council's chief engineer Dan Noble said the work started in late October and should take about 18 months to complete.
The work is being carried out in 1km sections because it's "the most economical way to do it", and the council is aiming is to complete at least 1km a month.
Works manager Richard Baxter said heading into summer, it was "too hard to keep up water" to ensure the gravel compacted properly.
The project was originally going to tender but the council decided to keep it in-house because there were numerous variables, which created design challenges.
Mr Noble said causeways had to be identified and geotechnical engineering was employed to find out how much existing pavement there was so the overlay could be tailored to suit.
Traffic conditions will change during the work and traffic lights will be used.
During the day, the speed limit will be 40km/h and at night, the limit will be 60km/h.