Environmental impact studies of three major road schemes in Greater Manchester were starting on Tuesday.
Residents undertook lengthy campaigns for the roads
The planned building work involves the A6 bypass round Stockport, the Poynton bypass and the western link road to Manchester Airport.
Assessment work and consultation of residents and businesses lasting a number of years will take place before any road building begins.
Manchester City Council, Cheshire County Council and Stockport Borough Council - whose land the routes will cross - are now assessing potential routes.
Residents in Hazel Grove, Stockport and Poynton campaigned for several years for bypasses to relieve traffic congestion.
However, it was not until government approval for the projects was given last year that the plans got off the ground.
Malcolm Hurst, chief executive of Stockport Chamber of Commerce, said a need for a by-pass round the town is getting more urgent by the minute.
He told BBC GMR: "The A6 is a 17th century road lined by cottages on each side.
"Through the growth of traffic you've now got huge wagons in effect on a four-lane highway next to tiny living accommodation.
"It is no way for people in the 21st century to be living."