Engineers have begun preliminary work on a new Northern Inner Distributor Road for Taunton, which is key to the town's £28m regeneration strategy.
Exploratory investigations are being carried out along the route that will relieve traffic congestion and provide access to brown field development land.
Building work on the route is scheduled to begin in autumn 2008 for 18 months.
"This road will be a vital part of the transport project in the area," said Somerset County Councillor Tony Shire.
The other element in the regeneration of Taunton - known as the 'Third Way' - is set to create a new north-south town centre.
It will also see a new bridge built over the River Tone and a new east-west road between Staplegrove Road and Priory Avenue to relieve traffic congestion along Greenway Road and Priorswood Road.
The scheme will also see a new road built to link Castle Street in the south to Wood Street in the north completing a new link between Wellington Road and Bridge Street.
Construction works on the Third Way are expected to start in July 2008 and will last approximately 14 months.