Terry Hie Hie Road could be transformed into a key tourist route between Moree and Tamworth, with a stretch of the unsealed section to be tarred, thanks to a $1.08 million state government grant.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole announced the funding during a recent inspection of the road.
A total of 5.8 kilometres of the dirt road will be sealed, south from the intersection of Melburra Road, with the $1.08 million in funding.
Mr Marshall said this is the start of a long-term plan to seal the remaining 18.2km of the 77km road, which would make for a quicker journey between Moree and Tamworth.
"Terry Hie Hie Road is the most direct route for travellers going between Moree and Tamworth, and if it was fully sealed, locals believe it would shave 40 minutes from the trip between towns," he said.
"This would make it the journey of choice for grey nomads, keen to visit Moree's artesian spas, the Sawn Rocks of Narrabri or fishing attractions of Bingara but wanting to avoid the very busy Newell Highway.
"The reduction in travel time would also greatly benefit those Moree locals who access medical and educational facilities in Tamworth.
"These initial works will bring another three families onto sealed road, making it safer for them to get to and from town, work and school."
The sealing of this section of Terry Hie Hie Road is a "dream come true" for local landholders along the route, according to Mr Marshall.
"Grazier Allan Gillogly lives on Terry Hie Hie Road and is that excited about the project, he is willing to offer council any support he can to get the work done quicker," Mr Marshall said.
"Allan trucks hundreds of cattle along the road each year and having it sealed will mean less wear and tear on his trucks and reduced travel time for his drivers going to market.
"Long term I can see there being zero dirt between Moree and Tamworth along this route and I look forward to working with council to make that dream a reality."
With the money now available, Moree Plains Shire Council will begin the design work in October, with crews expected to be on the ground and working by Christmas.
The funding is part of round one of the new NSW Fixing Local Roads program.
The Australian Government has committed $191 million to build on the NSW Government's $500 million Fixing Local Roads program, ensuring even more regional communities benefit, faster.
The injection will see $382 million of joint funding allocated to shovel-ready projects able to start in the next 12 months, driving an estimated 3,500 jobs in regional NSW.