This strategic study is one of several looking at solutions to tackle congestion and stimulate economic growth that have been commissioned by the Department for Transport and Transport for the North.
It will investigate the strategic and economic case for a new high-standard highway route between Manchester and Sheffield, including assessing the potential of combining with a rail or light rail link.
It is anticipated that the new route will cross the Pennines and the Peak District National Park by means of a road tunnel extending for several miles.
Road Minister Andrew Jones said: “As part of our long-term economic plan we are investing a record £13bn in transport for the North and North-East.
“Today’s announcement will look at building stronger links between Manchester and Sheffield, meaning more jobs and opportunities for people across the region.”