WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Business 40 improvement project in downtown Winston-Salem is not only on track its months ahead of schedule.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines made the announcement first on the WFMY News 2 Good Morning Show Tuesday. He explained contractor incentives are contributing to the brisk pace at which the project is progressing.

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"We're very pleased with how it's going. The major traffic issues have not happened the way we were fearful, and as we were talking earlier, there's a good chance this project will be finished by the end of this year."

He hopes in December 2019, before Christmas, crews will be able to reopen the bustling stretch of highway. 

However, the NC Department of Transportation reports accelerated opening date for Business 40 is April 9, 2020. There are incentives in place that could result in the road opening by the end of 2019 or early 2020. However, the NCDOT reports its still too early in the process to be able to make that determination now. The NCDOT and the project contractor are committed to opening the road back up at the earliest possible date.

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The Business 40 project started in November 2018, after years of planning and careful attention to detours -- especially around Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. 

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Initially, engineers projected it would take up to two years to complete.

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