HOUSTON- Construction has officially started to add new toll lanes to Highway 288.

A "groundbreaking ceremony" took place on Tuesday for the project which will add toll lanes along Highway 288.

The lanes will run from where it connects to Highway 59 near downtown to past the south Beltway.

The $815 million project is privately funded. Officials said it should make a big difference for commuters.

“I believe the region right now has about 6 million and it is projected to grow to 8 million within the next two years,” said Larry Green, Houston City Council member. “We have got to have transportations solutions to deal with the new influx of folks coming into the region, so this is just one way we are dealing with this congestion issue.”

Construction crews will begin work on the south end of the highway before moving north.

The project is expected to finished by 2019.