The preferred option for routes to dual the A96 will now be released later this year.
Transport Scotland is considering route options for the Garioch area on the Aberdeen to Inverness road.
Concerns have been raised about the section between Aberdeen and Huntly, with an action group set up in a bid to see the current road dualled instead of a new road created.
Extensive discussions have taken part on the route, with consultations held into the options with stakeholders and members of the public.
Nine possible route options were initially put forward before being reduced to six.
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A report at this week’s Aberdeenshire Council infrastructure services committee discussed updates on strategic transport programmes being carried out in the area.
It stated that due to a large number of responses received by Transport Scotland, it will be later this year before a final route is announced.
Work around the plans began in 2018, with a preferred option initially expected last year, before it was announced this would be delayed until this year.
The report, written on behalf of Stephen Archer, states: “Transport Scotland have confirmed that due to the need to consider in detail the large volume of consultation responses to the revised route options, a preferred final proposed route option will not be announced until later in 2020.”
The dualling of the A96 will improve connectivity between the two cities.
When complete, the government has said it will bring benefits to local communities, businesses, visitors and road users living, travelling and working along the route. These include reduced journey times, improved journey time reliability and, crucially, improve road safety for all users.”
Transport Scotland has said the project will result in a high-quality transport system that will generate sustainable economic growth.
It has re-iterated its commitment to the programme, and said that all major projects in the Scottish Government transport portfolio are subject to significant assessment work.
It previously said that the current road would not be widened, despite calls from the A96 Action Group, due to constraints at several locations as there are high numbers of roadside properties, junctions and access routes.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Our consultants are continuing the design work for the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen scheme.
“However, given the current COVID-19 pandemic, only work that can be undertaken in full alignment with the government’s physical distancing measures is being carried out at this time as we look to identify a preferred route option.”
“Once the current pandemic crisis is over and we can return to business as usual, we will re-evaluate the arrangements and timescales for identifying a preferred route option.”
Woodland Trust Scotland has also submitted objections.