A second harbour crossing in Poole in Dorset looks set to go ahead after a £34m scheme was backed by the Secretary of State for Transport.
Councillors hope the bridge will help cut traffic congestion
The council says Twin Sails Bridge across Holes Bay would improve access to the Hamworthy area and the port and cut traffic congestion in the town.
The project also includes plans for the regeneration of a former power station site for housing and employment.
Anyone who wants to challenge the Transport Works Act order has 42 days.
A detailed bridge design will now be drawn up and building work commissioned and, subject to the proposal getting full planning approval, construction is set to begin in 2008.
The government has pledged £14.14m towards the £34m project, but the Borough of Poole still needs to find the remaining money.
The existing lifting bridge is the town's only link with Hamworthy
Cllr Brian Leverett, leader of the council said: "After decades of campaigning and planning I am delighted that the government has finally given permission for the Twin Sails Bridge to be built.
"An immense amount of work and preparation has taken place to get this far and we still have a way to go before construction teams can move on site."
Andrew Flockhart, strategic director at the council, said: "There is still much work to do.
"We are having positive discussions with private landowners, developers and the Government to secure the land and the funding package for the bridge."