Rangari Road won't be sealed until after mid-2021 - and that's only if a new state government panel decides it is worth it.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson announced a $9 million commitment for the sealing in the June 2019 state election, however earlier this month he was working out "suitable funding pathways" for the project.
The panel will investigate 15,000 km of council-managed roads in rural and regional areas, to see which ones should be handed back to the state government, but its initial report won't be ready until July 2021 "at the earliest".
Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey said it was "good to see" a panel was now in place, but was concerned about the date being so far away.
"Council will certainly looking for a commitment to seal Rangari Road and the funds to seal Rangari Road before 2021," Cr Chaffey said.
"Council will certainly be taking a watchful, cautious approach and looking for more information during this consultation period because council is committed to getting the best outcomes long term for our community when it comes to our road network and infrastructure.
"It's been a strong focus over the last three years in working with state and federal governments to see a strong approach to improving our network and we want to ensure if there are moves forward under this program, that they are in the best interest of our shire residents."
Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole said the late date was in place because it was "a monumental task".
"With more than 180,000 km of roads across the state's entire road network and a complicated funding and maintenance program, it's critical we give the panel sufficient time to talk to stakeholders and do a thorough review," Mr Toole said.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson he would be "keeping an eye" on the process so the road could be "sealed as soon as possible".
"I know its a priority for many of the road users from all sectors of industry, including agriculture, tourists, locals, and it's a focus of mine and I'll keep pushing to get it done," Mr Anderson said.
"I'll be working hard to ensure the expert panel has these roads right at the top of the list."