LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One of the busiest and most dangerous highways in Louisville is getting millions in safety upgrades. 

Work has already begun on the $35 million New Dixie Highway project.  

As many locals know, Dixie Highway has earned the unfortunate nickname "Dixie Dieway." It has three times the death rate of similar stretches of highway. But the project is designed to change that.  

Federal, state and local officials gathered Friday to kick-off construction. 

Among the changes planned for about 14 miles of Dixie Highway is to add medians, widen sidewalks and better define crosswalks. 

There will be bus stations for the region's first bus rapid transit line. And technology will be implemented to improve signal timing and traffic flow.

The project is being paid for in part by a nearly $17 million federal grant. And U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao - who is from Louisville - talked about the project's impact.

"These improvements will enhance the local investments in new buses, bus stops and kiosks. And it's important to note that these improvements will not only save time for commuters and travelers, but also save lives," she said. 

If you want to know more about this project, there will be an open house sometime early next year.

The project scheduled to finish in late 2019.

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.