The roadworks in the centre of Motherwell will be completed by Christmas.
Muir Street and Hamilton Road traders were given the good news at a meeting with North Lanarkshire Council officials last week that the £1.2 million project is set to finish ahead of schedule.
There were fears when the council put a stopping up order of 16 months on the site that the work would not be completed until next May.
However, the council and contractors MacLay claimed this was just a precaution.
Now, though, built heritage and design team leader David Sutton has confirmed the contractors have moved up their schedule and is hopeful things can be done even sooner.
He said: “Work is progressing well and, while we were looking at mid-January for completion, we are now looking at mid-December and will continue to review the situation on a monthly basis.
“I still think we have room to further ‘squeeze’ the contract because with the utilities companies being on site we haven’t yet seen the full benefits of closing the road completely.”
Muir Street has seen the first victim of the closure as coffee bar Go Expresso shut down after just a matter of weeks.
Full story in March 14 edition of Motherwell Times