Department for Transport has agreed to contribute £78.98m towards the cost
Plans for an £88.7m coastal link road in East Sussex have been given initial approval for government funding.
The proposed new 3.5 mile (5.6km) single carriageway would connect the A259 in Bexhill and the B2092 Queensway in Hastings.
Funding approval has been given by the Department for Transport. A public inquiry into the compulsory purchase and side road orders starts next month.
Campaigners have claimed the road would ruin a "precious piece of countryside".
But many local residents, business leaders and politicians have been calling for the towns to be given a link road or bypass for decades.
East Sussex County Council said the road would attract investment to the area, ease congestion and improve air quality.
The road would provide "access to areas that have been identified for regeneration", a council spokesperson said.
The Department for Transport has agreed to contribute £78.98m towards the total cost.
East Sussex County Council will provide the remaining funds.