A relief road designed to take traffic out of Lincoln city centre could be ready by 2013, planners have said.
A public consultation on the east-west route from Tentercroft Street to Canwick Road, which finished in September, was "positive" they said.
A full planning application is due to be submitted next spring.
Possible issues caused by a planned increase in rail traffic using the High Street level crossing have emphasised the need for the road, officials added.
Drivers have already faced extra delays because of the East Coast main line being diverted through the city last weekend, with the situation being repeated this weekend.
County council highways department senior project leader, Les Davies, said: "Network Rail have advised us they have plans to increase the amount of freight traffic through Lincoln and the road should allow us to mitigate some of the impact of that."
He added: "After we have gone through the statutory procedures, physical construction could start in early 2013 and if can complete it later that year it would tie in nicely with Network Rail's plan."
The project would also see more of the High Street closed to traffic to create a pedestrian zone.