WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Construction barrels are disappearing after crews completed an eight-mile project on Interstate 64 in the Williamsburg area that expanded the major roadway from two lanes to three.

Known as “segment III” of a larger effort to make the highway three lanes from Richmond to Hampton, this phase took a little more than two years and $178.3 million to complete. The interstate is now at least three lanes from the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) in Hampton to Newman Road in Lightfoot, a distance of more than 30 miles.

Now, elected leaders, as well as transportation planners, are looking to start work expanding the remaining 29 miles of two-lane road between Richmond and Hampton Roads.

On Monday, there were cheers as a ribbon was cut along Colonial Parkway celebrating the completion of the project.

“It’s been simply nothing short of amazing, absolutely amazing,” Thomas Sheppard, a Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission Commissioner and member of the York County Board of Supervisors said at the ceremony. “When you think governments can’t get things done, we somehow made it happen. State federal and local. We made this happen.”

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Shirley Contracting and Dewberry completed the project segment, which included not only the additional lane but also the full replacement of two bridges over Queens Creek, the widening and rehabilitation of four overpass bridges including one over Colonial Parkway which required 60,000 custom-made bricks and heavy masonry work.

“There is no doubt that [Interstate] 64 has been and will continue to be a priority in our commonwealth,” Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine said.

More than $580 million has been invested in the road in the last six years and more is expected.

Valentine announced that Gov. Ralph Northam’s final budget proposal includes $20 million for permitting and design work on the final 29-mile gap between Lightfoot and Bottoms Bridge in New Kent County.

“We celebrate the completion and operation of the I-64 Peninsula Segment III Project, which marks the third project of a series of I-64 widening and improvement projects on the Peninsula that VDOT and HRTAC have partnered on,” said HRTAC Chair and Mayor of Hampton Donnie Tuck. “Together, we’ve completed a total of 21 directional miles—or 126 lane miles—of new construction or reconstruction of the interstate, now open to motorists and contributing to congestion relief across the Virginia Peninsula.”