The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in the US has awarded a $146.1m contract to Vecellio & Grogan for the construction of an interstate bypass in Rockingham, Richmond County.

As the lowest bidder among qualified contractors, Vecellio & Grogan secured the contract through state law.

Built on a new location, the 7.2-mile bypass will connect the US 220 north of Rockingham with the US 74 bypass on the west side of the city.

This route is set to become part of Future Interstate 73 / 74.

With construction set to start as early as 25 November, work on the four-lane, median-divided freeway is scheduled for substantial completion in 2023.

Vecellio & Grogan will upgrade the existing US 74 bypass between the section west of Zion Church Road and the US 74 business interchange to include six 12ft travel lanes and a 60ft median.

Four 12ft travel lanes with a 70ft median will be part of the new location highway section between the US 74 business interchange and US 220 interchange.

New interchanges will be constructed at existing US 74 / US 74 business, Cartledge Creek Road and US 220 near Sandy Ridge Church Road.

With the construction of the new bypass, interstate traffic can be eliminated from signalised intersections, local roads and highways.

The project will also provide a main route for continuous passenger vehicle and truck travel and is expected to improve safety within the city.

The preferred route for the project was selected in 2002. Right of way acquisition started in 2009 and is substantially complete.

As part of the project, a 2.7-mile section of existing US 220 north of Rockingham was previously upgraded to interstate standards.