NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A big project involving big trucks is nearing completion for Norfolk International Terminals and Interstate 564.

A new ramp connecting I-564 with the terminals' North Gate will open to port traffic on Thursday morning, marking a major milestone for the I-64 Intermodal Connector Project.

The ramp will initially serve port traffic only, but following the completion of additional work in 2018, the connector will eventually include traffic for Naval Station Norfolk Gate 6 and local traffic to Hampton Boulevard.

The new connector features nearly three miles of new, four-lane limited access highway that is designed to streamline traffic, providing direct freight access to NIT, the Virginia Port Authority's largest terminal in Hampton Roads.

Joseph Ruddy is the Chief Innovation Officer for the Port of Virginia. He said, “this is a great project of cooperation between the Navy the port of Virginia and V-DOT and we're excited to see V-DOT bring this project to conclusion.“

Ruddy also said, “we'll eventually get to the point where we are taking up words of 700 trucks a day off of Hampton Boulevard by this direct access you see you over here onto 564.

Once it's fully completed next year, the connector will also provide direct commuter access from the interstate to Naval Station Norfolk.

Paul and Elizabeth Melshen live on Hampton Boulevard. They said they see the congestion on that road everyday.

“Not only is it very congested. There's all sorts of accidents occur you know on a weekly basis,” said Paul Melshen.

Elizabeth Melshen said the progress today is a start and every little bit of traffic clearing off Hampton Boulevard helps.

For more information on the project, click here.