The Department of Planning has requested more information about potential construction impacts from the final stage of the Newcastle Inner City bypass, sparking concern construction may not start until 2020.
The request comes despite hundreds of millions of dollars already having been spent on the preparation of a detailed environmental impact statement for the $280 million project.
Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery said she was aware of property acquisition negotiations that were still underway between Roads and Maritime Services and land holders.
“Making sure every project meets strict planning guidelines is important, but the government and the RMS have really dragged their feet on this one,” she said.
"We have been dealing with a number of local residents whose homes will be impacted by the construction of the next stage of the bypass. The have been stuffed around by the RMS since day one, with acquisitions cancelled and then put back on the table."
A Department of Planning spokesman said RMS had promised to provide the additional information in the near future.
“We expect to determine the project in the next few months,” he said.
RMS said in April that construction timing was subject to project approval and funding.
This year’s state budget allocated $14.5 million for planning and “pre-construction” of the Rankin Park to Jesmond extension.
But Ms Hornery said she believed the project was running about 12 months behind schedule.
“They first announced this project in 2014,” she said.
"Every day I hear about congestion around the John Hunter Hospital, with some people waiting in excess of an hour when trying to exit the Hospital Campus."
"Any delay is simply not good enough. This whole project has highlighted the incompetence of the RMS and their inability to manage major infrastructure projects."
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald announced a series of design changes in May.
These included a shared path at the northern interchange for the Jesmond Park cycleway to improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists, and a shared path bridge leading to an underpass.