FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Another portion of Fayetteville's Outer loop is officially open for travelers.
The new section of the four-lane, divided highway spans nearly 7 miles between the All American Freeway and Cliffdale Road.
"Without signals you're saving five minutes for every signal. And for 20 signals to get here. That's 20 times 5. So that's pretty easy," said Jim Trogdon, NCDOT Secretary.
The $144 million dollar project has been in the works since 2014. Local leaders said the interstate will eventually pay for itself.
"There's some ripe farm land waiting for economic development. So this is going to be a breeze. Give it about a few years for these major interchanges," said Mayor Pro Tem Ted Mohn.
For Fort Bragg, the benefits go beyond economics. It's about efficiency. The DOT built a tunnel for Fort Bragg.
"It was an item that kind came up last minute but the state really came through making that happen so that we can move out of the training area without impacting traffic flow," said Col. Philip Sounia, Fort Bragg.
While work continues on the three remaining stretches of the beltline, Fort Bragg said the one that opened today, did so right on time.
"This is a very timely event as we are getting ready to transition where our veterans can use our facilities as well so they really impressed with timing to support all the veterans," said Sounia.
When completed by 2024, the 39-mile outer loop will stretch from I-95 north of Fayetteville to I-95 south of Hope Mills.
Conti Enterprises began construction in 2014. The total construction was $144 million. It's the first new segment of the outer loop, which will become Interstate 295, to open in three years. Two more segments are under construction, and the department plans to award a contract on a final section next year. For details, people can visit this NCDOT project page.
The wait is over: DOT opens latest stretch of Fayetteville's Outer Loop
More TOP STORIES News