The signing of contracts to appoint consultants for the extension of the motorway from Mullingar to Rooskey has taken place in recent days.
The project will see the upgrading of 50 kilometres of the N4 National Primary Route between the N4 Dromod-Rooskey Bypass and the N4 Mullingar Bypass.
The scheme will bypass Newtownforbes, Longford, Edgeworthstown, Rathowen and Ballinalack.
A grouping of 7 different Chambers of Commerce, including Longford, came together in recent years to campaign for the prioritising of the section and it was approved by the present government under Project Ireland 2040.
Longford Fine Gael councillor Micheal Carrigy says the appointment of the consultants is significant even though any actual work on the route is still some years away.