Shrewsbury's long-awaited North West Relief Road could be open traffic by the spring of 2023, Shropshire Council's chief transport officer has revealed.
The £71 million road which will link Bicton Heath to the Ellesmere Road has attracted millions of pounds of funding from the Department of Transport.
Two bridges will be built along the seven-mile route, one crossing the River Severn and the other over the Shrewsbury to Chester rail line.
The new road will span the Battlefield Link Road and the Oxon Link Road – and will provide a new, single-carriageway route taking traffic out of the town centre.
Matt Johnson, the council's strategic transport and contracts manager, said: "We have had to prove to the Department of Transport that we have a plan in terms of procurement and construction that can meet the deadline.
"We would not have been awarded the funding unless that was in place. so my job now and for the next four years is to complete delivery of that piece of road."
The road has long been in the planning stage but took a massive leap forward in March when the council received confirmation that it would receive £54 million funding from the Government.
Council chiefs will submit a full planning application in January 2020 and a planning decision is anticipated weeks later.
By next summer the council hopes to start the procurement process and by next winter, it will have appointed a contractor.
It is thought that work on the road could start by the spring of 2022 with an anticipated opening date of spring 2023. The road will be fully constructed, off highway, by 2024.
Last month a controversial planning application concerning the Oxon Link Road was withdrawn by Shropshire Council. Instead the road will be incorporated in to the NWRR scheme.
It's proponents say the NWRR will provide a strategic link that eases congestion on the corridor between the Midlands and Wales, facilitating economic growth in Shrewsbury and Shropshire more widely.
On the other hand, the Oxon Link Road was conceived principally as a distributor road to facilitate development as part of the Shrewsbury West Urban Extension (SUE).
By combining the schemes, the authority says the Oxon Link Road can more easily contribute to the strategic objective of the NWRR, while also better delivering on the link road’s specific goal of facilitating the SUE.
A new combined planning application will be submitted in spring 2020.