Transport Minister Derek Mackay has admitted a start date for work on the Laurencekirk junction could be years away.
Mr Mackay was responding to a parliamentary written question from North East Scotland Conservative MSP Nanette Milne.
This year Nestrans declared a flyover as its preferred option for improving the junction.
Mr Mackay wrote: “Discussions are now under way with our partners on the next steps for this project, including matters around funding.
“Further detailed design development work and authorisation are likely to take some years and progress will be reported as that process continues.
“In light of this, it is not possible at this stage to confirm when work will start on the new flyover at Laurencekirk.”
Ms Milne said she was “hugely disappointed at the answer” and the “total lack of any timetable”.
She said: “It is imperative that work is undertaken at the earliest opportunity to make it safer for motorists.
“The minister has stated that ‘further detailed design development work and authorisation are likely to take some years and progress will be reported as that process continues’.
“That could mean that we could see no action taken to address the road safety issues for another five years.
“We cannot allow for work on a new flyover at Laurencekirk to slip. I have written to the First Minister to highlight my concerns at the lack of any real progress and to ask for a timetable for works to be published and have asked for the new flyover at Laurencekirk to be given more of a priority.”