GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Urban Loop is just about finished. Drivers will be able to take a full lap around the city of Greensboro on Monday.
The project has been 20 years in the making. The final stretch of the highway runs from North Elm Street to Highway 29.
Construction began back in 1999, but the planning for I-840 began back in the 1960s.
Starting Monday afternoon, you'll be able to drive the 49-mile loop around the Gate City.
Engineer Wright Archer with NCDOT said the idea behind the loop is to maintain a 20-minute commute around the city.
As Greensboro continues to grow, this stretch of concrete won't only be an economic boost, but it will also help reduce carbon emissions.
"If we lessen that travel time, that's less time off your life, that's less fuel that you were expanding, that's obviously an economic bonus. It's better for the environment, less fuel we burn, less emissions. So that's what we all look at holistically on a project like this," Archer said.
The latest stretch has been under construction for the better part of four years at the cost of $150 million.
The price tag for the entire 49 miles totals more than $1 billion.
Karen Hopkins and her husband travel near the newer stretch of highway often. She said this new and final part of the highway will cut their drive time in half.
"It will, of course, make my timing better and it sounds like it's going to make it a lot shorter and the traffic will be a whole lot less too," Hopkins said.
If you plan to travel the new stretch of highway from N. Elm Street to Highway 29, DOT encourages you to be patient. Also, be aware of new traffic patterns and stoplights at new intersections.
Rain is expected Sunday, but it isn't expected to delay the opening. All lanes both east and west bound are set to open by the Monday afternoon commute.