Lincolnshire is among six councils to receive funding to develop local road improvements projects.
Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: "The A17 corridor provides a vital east-west route that connects Newark and the A1 with Boston and Norfolk. However, it currently has limited capacity due to a mix of single-lane and dual carriageway that can make overtaking difficult and cause bottlenecks.
"This funding means we can further look into dualling the A17 near Heckington, between the east and west junctions into the village, including developing an outline business case we can use when applying for government funding towards the scheme.
"Dualling this stretch of road would offer up several benefits like providing a new overtaking opportunity, improving journey times and safety, and future-proofing the A17 as more and more vehicles use it over the coming years."
If taken forward, the A17 Heckington dualling scheme is expected to cost between £20-50m. However, the total cost would be narrowed as the project develops further.
The next steps for the scheme will be preparing an outline business case to be submitted to Midlands Connect for use when bidding for future highways funding opportunities for the region.
Cllr Davies added: "Developing schemes like this will hopefully help Lincolnshire, and the Midlands generally, secure a bigger share of roads funding in the years to come.
"We're always looking ahead at potential projects for the county, so this £50k will go a long way towards us continuing to develop ready-to-build improvement schemes we can put forward as and when bidding opportunities crop up.
"It's important to stress this project actually being built is fully reliant on successfully securing external funding, so it could be several years before taken forward past the business case stage."
For more information about other major highways projects, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/majorprojects.