The newest section of I-840 is opening on schedule on Wednesday, Dec. 23.

The section of the Urban Loop that will be open to traffic Wednesday is from Lawndale Drive east to North Elm Street. If you want to drive on a brand new six-lane highway, this is your chance.

On Dec. 30, 2019, the section of the Urban Loop from Battleground Avenue to Lawndale Drive was opened, and at the time it was stated that the next section from Lawndale to North Elm would open before the end of the year, which means they made the deadline with a week to spare.

This is a portion of the 15-mile, $121 million Northern Section of I-840 that runs between Lawndale Drive and US 29.  It is the final section of the 49-mile Urban Loop and is scheduled to be completed in November 2022.

In 2019, a month before the section between Battleground and Lawndale was open, there was a big ribbon cutting ceremony with Gov. Roy Cooper as the featured speaker, but that was back before the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Dec. 22, there was a much smaller affair involving mostly state and local officials, including Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation Eric Boyette, Chair of the North Carolina Board of Transportation Mike Fox, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, Greensboro City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter and Director of the Greensboro Department of Transportation Hanna Cockburn.

Abuzuaiter said, “I was so excited when I saw this section completed.  The Urban Loop has been talked about for so many years and in the works so many years and this was chance to see how it has evolved.  It will certainly enhance the mobility of Greensboro residents and its going to be good for economic development.”

Abuzuaiter noted that when the final section is completed in 2022, it will give East Greensboro a straight shot to Piedmont Triad International Airport.

Abuzuaiter is chair of the Greensboro Urban Metropolitan Planning Organization (GUMPO), which approves all the transportation projects in this area.  She is also the new chair of Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART), which oversees the regional bus system.