Motorists and home owners on Tyneside are still waiting to hear whether the Deputy Prime Minister is to approve a second Tyne Tunnel.
The tunnel carries thousands of cars every day
A six-week inquiry, which heard evidence from supporters and opponents of a second crossing between Howden and Jarrow, ended in April 2003.
A report was sent to John Prescott, but no decision has yet been announced.
Paul Fenwick, the projects manager for the crossing, says it is a complex legal and technical issue.
He said: "The Secretary of State has to... make sure that should he confirm the order it is robust enough to operate during the life of the crossing.
"It is absolutely essential he gets things right."
He said that if the go-ahead was given, it would take three-and-a-half years for the whole process to be complete.
However, Paul Winch, co-ordinator with the Tyne Crossings Alliance, questioned the need for a second road tunnel.
He said: "Traffic reduction would be a better solution.
"But if people do want another crossing, many of us would support a rail crossing from North to South Shields, clearly it is technically feasible."
He also said he was concerned that the quoted cost of £139m was over-optimistic.