WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Complete 540 project is underway right now and today we got an up close look at the progress and how it connects the region.
It's just the bare bones of the southern part of the 540 project but in a year the NCDOT, NC Turnpike Authority, the Regional Transportation Alliance and business leaders say this will change how the region operates.
"Our understanding about this obviously avoiding all of the stop lights in the future stoplights, instead you're in a safe facility free flow 70 miles an hour. Some folks may be saving 10-20 or even more minutes as they travel between portions of Johnston County, Lee County, Chatham County and of course all around Wake County," said Joe Milazzo II, executive director Regional Transportation Alliance.
This is the piece of 540 where it crosses Highway 401 in southern Wake County, also known as Phase 1 of Complete 540 which will connect the NC 55 bypass to I-40.
"The area is going to grow no matter whether we put the infrastructure in or not. The only question is we're gonna grow well and we enjoy our lives in the process of roads like this in transit systems will be able to put on this the answer should be yes," he said.
Wake Tech Community College, where their presentation was held Thursday morning, is one of the businesses that will see a direct impact.
MORE NEWS: Wake County school safety assistants asking for increased pay
Many of their campuses outline the highway already.
"Accessibility is important. Being able to reach what you need for job training for classes and for the services you need that's why 540 is so strategic and important for our region and for Wake Tech," said Wake Tech President Scott Ralls.
This portion is expected to be done by spring 2024.
SEE ALSO: Duke economist calls Fed's latest rate hike a mistake, warns of recession
In fall of last year the NC Turnpike Authority and NCDOT activated a $100 million acceleration plan to move forward Phase 2 of the project which will connect I-40 in Garner to I-87 in Knightdale. That is expected to be done near the end of the decade.