Northern Ireland regional development minister Danny Kennedy has given the green light for the £100 million A8 Belfast to Larne dual carriageway scheme.
Work on the 14.4 km stretch of dual carriageway, which will be handled by a consortium consisting of Lagan, Ferrovial and Costain, is expected to start in June this year and take two and a half years to complete.
It is hoped that the new roadway will help reduce journey times, improve road safety and help the development of the Port of Larne, which is the second largest in Northern Ireland.
Mr Kennedy said the project will also bring economic gains to construction firms within the region.
"The scheme should lead to an increase in demand for local suppliers of construction material as well as a boost to commercial trade in the surrounding area," he said.
Larne was recently named as the only viable location in Ireland in which to build a compressed air energy storage facility by Gaelectric.