The first phase of funding for a £40m tidal surge barrier across a Suffolk river has been secured and work may begin in February next year.
The barriers aim to help protect Ipswich from flooding
The Environment Agency and Ipswich Borough Council are behind the town's Flood Defence Management Strategy.
The first phase of the scheme will see river banks being raised near Bath Street and near the Wet Dock entrance.
The barrier will be constructed once further funding has been secured and is expected to be in operation in 2012.
The Environment Agency will then be able to safeguard Ipswich from a one in 300 chance of flooding in any one year due to a tidal surge.
Currently, there is a between a one in 20 and one in 100 chance of of the town flooding.
The project is one of the largest currently being implemented by the Environment Agency with the barrier alone forecast to cost £30m.
Project manager Nicolas Rowlinson said: "We now enter a challenging and exciting few years as we work on the flood defence improvements.
"The tidal surge barrier will be in the lower part of the River Orwell in the New Cut, probably in its mouth.
"The exact position will be determined in the coming months and the barrier will be tied into high ground with new flood defences."
He said everything upstream of the barrier will be protected against a flood from a surge tide.
"Since the disappointment of a year ago, when funding was stopped, we have been working hard with Ipswich Borough Council to secure funds to enable the project to restart," he added.
"Both organisations worked together in bidding for funds which was key to our success. A challenge for the team for the year ahead is to secure further funds for future years."