SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Construction of Interstate 49 north soon will reach Shreveport.

The Times reports that the LouisianaDepartment of Transportation and Development will open bidding next month for the leg between La. Highway 1 and Shreveport's Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Construction would start in early 2013.

Since the state broke ground on the $631 million project in 2006, businesses and residents near the planned 36-mile corridor have anticipated economic growth from the highway.

Transportation spokeswoman Susan Stafford says construction of the final segment from MLK Drive to I-220 is expected to start in 2014.

Mayor Cedric Glover says he is thankful and relieved that something he and others have worked on for so long finally is coming to fruition.