Final clearance could be just weeks away for work to start on a new Morpeth Northern Bypass.
Plans for the South East Northumberland Link Road, which would connect Whorral Bank to the A1, have now been approved by the Government.
Planning approval, compulsory purchase and traffic orders have all been given consent by the Secretary of State for Transport, leaving just a final bid to be submitted to the department setting out the detailed expenditure plans.
If there are no legal challenges in the coming weeks, construction could start in the spring.
Councillor Ian Swithenbank said: “This is great news for residents, the county and the wider region and we should soon be in a position to actually start the construction work.
“The new bypass will open up new areas for development and alleviate traffic pressures in Morpeth town centre and surrounding villages. It will greatly improve traffic links to towns in the south east of the county.”
The scheme is the second phase of the link road following the completion of the Pegswood Bypass in 2007.
It will be 3.8km long, connecting to the A1 between Lancaster Park and Fairmoor, and should take about 18 months to complete.