Singleton mayor Sue Moore has reiterated calls for the town's bypass design to be changed to ensure it is dual carriageway and has a full interchange at Putty Road.
With state and federal funds committed to the $700 million project and the government now calling for industry feedback, she said if the plans were not altered it would be a "bittersweet" outcome for the community when the road opened.
Responding to a joint-government media release issued on Wednesday, which quoted no less than five politicians, Cr Moore said yesterday the two levels of government were not hearing the community's concerns.
"The Australian and NSW governments say they are now seeking industry feedback on the best way to deliver the bypass, and what we're hearing from our community and from the motorists who'll be using the road is to make it dual lanes with a full interchange," she said.
"We also need to listen to the delivery truck drivers and the other motorists who service the town centre to understand what their needs are, and which way they need to get onto John Street.
"I've said repeatedly that I am whole-heartedly supportive of the concept of the Singleton bypass ... but we only get one chance to get it right."
The bypass will be built with room to operate as dual carriageway in the future.
Transport for NSW last year cited "insufficient traffic demand" to argue against a full interchange at Putty Road, where there will only be a northbound on-ramp and southbound off-ramp.
In the joint press release, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said industry input was being sought "so we can get shovels in the ground and construction happening as quickly as possible".
Cr Moore, who last year said the bypass would be a "second-rate" upgrade without the changes, said she was thrilled with the commitment to start work as soon as possible but disappointed plans remained unchanged.
"After years of lobbying, we don't want the Singleton bypass ... to become a bittersweet project," she said.
"We should be learning from the Hunter Expressway and the fortitude that was shown for the Branxton interchange to accommodate the [development] at Huntlee.
"I don't want the people of Singleton to come this far, only to be in the position of having to lobby for more money later on to address issues we're raising now."
Construction of the eight-kilometre Singleton bypass is expected to begin in mid-2023.
It will remove about 15,000 vehicles per day from the town and alleviate one of the Hunter's most notorious bottlenecks.
Concerns about the design somewhat mirror criticism of the Muswellbrook and Newcastle bypass projects.
In Muswellbrook, civic leaders have lamented the lack of an interchange at Coal Road midway along the road link, which is in the early stages of planning.
Residents of suburbs to the west of the fifth stage of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass have called for a full interchange at McCaffrey Drive, but the government has refused to add the extra ramps because it believes traffic volumes will not justify their $25 million cost.