The contract for the main construction works at the Dunkettle Interchange is set to be awarded shortly.
Once work begins, the construction phase of the project is expected to take around three and a half years.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath visited the site of the upgrade scheme on Friday.
“On completion, the Dunkettle interchange scheme will have a hugely positive impact on traffic flow at this critical artery,” the Cork South Central TD said.
"The capacity of the junction will be greatly improved, reducing congestion and cutting journey times to and from the city. This will be a great boost to the economy of the region.
“I am informed that the procurement procedure for the awarding of the main construction contract is at a very advanced stage and it is anticipated the contract will be awarded shortly with work to commence very soon after.
“Advance works have been ongoing on site for some time including the development of a new east- west cycleway,” the Minister added.
“Having spoken to the engineers and examined the plans today, I am pleased to see this project progressing and I know it is keenly awaited as a very positive development for Cork."
The Dunkettle Interchange development involves the reconfiguration of the existing Dunkettle Interchange to become more free-flowing by removing several sets of traffic lights and creating new slip roads.
Earlier this year, The Echo reported that the awarding of the construction contract was set for September following previous delays to the project.
Contractors Sisk were originally awarded a NEC3 contract, which saw the company carry out preliminary work and designs on the project, with details on how the construction would take place.
An agreement couldn't be made with Sisk and the State on the price for the construction phase of the project, and the tendering process for a Design-Build contract began.
The proposed Dunkettle Interchange Project includes the elements of infrastructure such as a series of roads directly linking main routes such as the N8, N25 and the N40 and links to the R623 Regional Road in Little Island and Burys Bridge in Dunkettle.