Council representatives and businesses met in Lincoln to officially mark the start of the city’s £22 million East West Link Road.
The scheme will link High Street from the junction with Tentercroft Street to Pelham Bridge and Canwick Road.
The works were officially launched by county councillor Richard Davies and Lincoln MP Karl McCartney on November 13 with a wall-smashing ‘initiation ceremony’ on Kesteven Street.
The council say 43 parcels of land come together to form the project plans and 18 business and property owners are affected by the works, with some relocating.
The finished road will provide an easier route across Lincoln, avoiding the High Street railway crossing. It is expected to cut traffic congestion, improve air quality and reduce journey times.
It will also bring about the regeneration of the former coal yard on Tentercroft Street.
British construction firm Balfour Beatty has been awarded a £10.5 million contract to build the road, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2016.
Project Manager, Alan Aistrup, said: “I’ve been involved in the project since its inception eight years ago. My role now is special projects manager for Lincoln and this is one of many that are coming forward.
“The first phase of the project will be the demolition of some of the buildings along Tentercroft Street, the most prominent one being the Bridge McFarland/Gadsbys building. We are having to dismantle it brick-by-brick and reuse them to rebuild a very similar building about five metres back.
“The majority of the works in the first few months will be in the old coal yard, so that won’t be affecting traffic on the High Street or anywhere else, certainly for the first six months.
“This project has been brought forward because of the down time on the rail crossing on the High Street causing congestion, but also what the road will do is regenerate Tentercroft Street and the coal yard.
“Once the scheme is finished we can pedestrianise the High Street from the level crossing to Tentercroft Street and this will link St Marks shopping centre with the rest of the city centre.
“Throughout the works Tentercroft Street Car Park will remain open. We will build the new piece of the road on the coal yard as the first phase.
“Once that’s done we can divert traffic on to the new road so we can widen Tentercroft Street to the High Street towards Autum of next year. We’ll also work under Pelham Bridge connecting to Great Northen Terrace – those are the elements of the work that will affect traffic.
“At this point in time there are no road closures set for this scheme.”
Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transportation at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “This project, alongside the other major schemes we have lined up, will significantly ease the pressures we see on the road network in and around Lincoln every day.
“Over the next few years, well over £100 million will be invested in Lincoln’s infrastructure, which will spur on the city’s redevelopment, helping to create new jobs and support business growth.”