The four-lane route is likely to trace the route of the old M6 for 50 miles up to Manchester.
It would have two northbound lanes and two going south.
Environmental groups have criticised the move but freight associations said it will ease traffic congestion.
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling is today expected to tell the House of Commons that private companies would build and run the road.
Although charges have yet to be decided, the new motorway would be twice as long as the current M6 Toll and could cost drivers more to use.
The government will argue that the two stretches would give paying motorists more than 70 miles of congestion-free motoring.
It will add that traffic would also be drawn away from the old M6, benefiting those drivers not prepared to pay the tolls.