A council said it is "dismayed" after plans to resurface a busy dual carriageway in Dorset were put on hold.
Dorset County Council planned to begin work on the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road in September.
The government said it would not decide on the £24.3m funding needed until after a spending review in the autumn.
Drivers have already endured months of delays while contractors carried out preparation work to cut back vegetation and relocate protected species.
Between November 2009 and March 2010 sections of the carriageway were closed while the advance work took place.
The road was not among the major transport schemes approved for government funding before the general election.
Transport councillor Peter Finney said: "Given that this is the busiest route in the county, we are extremely dismayed with the delay but will work to press the Department for Transport for future funding.
"I do not relish the councils spending an extra £1m a year on ongoing maintenance when the road requires a major refurbishment, which will save us money in the long run.
"We share the frustration of road users who are going to experience inconvenience over a much longer time frame than if we had been able to undertake these essential works."