After concerns local roads will not cope with the extra traffic when the Hunter Expressway opens in the coming months, the state government has allocated several million dollars for improvements.
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has this week started upgrading sections of the New England Highway to cater for increased traffic from the $1.7 billion project.
It includes resurfacing the highway at Singleton Heights, Ardglen and Muswellbrook.
RMS says the $5 million project includes widening the highway and changing the layout of the lanes to improve road safety and traffic flow.
Other work will include Buchanan Road at Cessnock.
Concerns have been been raised about local roads in towns close to the expressway that are already under stress, such as Heddon Greta, where more than 1,800 new homes will be built.