A major highway project in Eastern Carolina has officially been fast-tracked, although construction is not set to begin for several years.
The NC DOT says work will begin in parts of the Greenville Southwest Bypass as early as 2018. The bypass aims to connect the U.S. 264 Bypass in Greenville to south of Highway 102 in Ayden.
The bypass is part of an urban loop program in six cities across the state. The Greenville Southwest Bypass will be located near the area south of Forlines Rd. (State Rd. 1126) to U.S. 264 Greenville Bypass.
The accelerated schedule is possible because of bonds that allow the NC DOT to borrow against future federal funding.
The urban loop program totals 353 miles, 140 of which are currently open to traffic. The estimated cost to build the remaining 213 miles is about $8 billion. At the previous funding rate, it would have taken more than 50 years to complete the program.