The State of Maine is reviving an old plan to build an east-west highway from Calais to the Quebec border.
The proposed two-lane, toll highway would shave an estimated four hours off of the drive between Saint John and Montreal.
A committee of the state Senate has approved a $300,000-feasibility study for the highway, which would be privately-funded.
"I would think construction could begin in one to two years. And probably two years, give or take, to build it,” said Senator Doug Thomas, who is the bill’s sponsor.
The state study still has to pass two more votes in the Maine legislature, but Thomas is confident it will.
"This is a great opportunity for all of us,” he said.
Maine businessman Pete Vigue has already said he is ready to build the $2 billion-highway and can find the investors to back the project.
Vigue plans to visit New Brunswick in March to promote the highway.
Harold Clossey, who heads Washington County, Maine's economic development agency, is already onside.
"I think the results of this study will be very positive,” he said.