The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it has awarded a $142 million contract to Dragados USA Inc., of New York City, to begin construction of the long-discussed East End Connector in Durham.
The 3.9-mile highway, which is scheduled to be finished in 2019, will connect the Durham Freeway and the U.S. Highway 70/N.C. Highway 98 intersection. It will also upgrade U.S. 70 to a freeway between Pleasant Drive and N.C. 98.
The East End Connector will be two lanes in each direction with space for a future third lane in each direction.
While the highway is being constructed, crews will not be allowed to close lanes of U.S. 70 between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays.
After the highway is completed, NCDOT officials will ask the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation to designate the connecter and the Durham Freeway as Interstate 885.