Work has begun on US state of North Carolina’s first toll road – the triangle Expressway.

Once complete, the 19-mile expressway will extend from the intersection of the Durham Freeway and Interstate 40 to N.C. Highway 55 in Holly Springs.

Construction will take three years at a cost of $1bn.

The 3.4-mile Triangle Parkway segment of the expressway, from I-40 and the Durham Freeway to N.C. 540, is expected to open in 2011.

Another 12.6-mile Western Wake Freeway, from N.C. 55 in Cary to N.C. 55 in Holly Springs, is expected completion in 2012.

The third section, Northern Wake Expressway (NC 540) between NC 55 and NC 54. is already in operation.

The construction is being funded by a $386m federal loan and $624m in bonds which will be repaid with toll revenues.

The expressway will have an electronic toll system which will deduct money automatically from a prepaid account of the user.

The cost of driving on the toll road is expected to range from 14 to 30 cents a mile.