WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) — The highway that eventually will become the new Interstate 587 in three central North Carolina counties will soon have some different numbers on its mile markers and exits.

The state Department of Transportation said Wednesday that it will replace those signs with new numbers on 18 miles of U.S. 264 in Wilson, Nash and Wake counties.

A 37-mile section of U.S. 264 between Wilson and Greenville earlier this summer was redesignated as I-587 and is in the process of having hundreds of numbers switched to new numbers.

The rest of the highway — which runs from Wilson to where U.S. 64 diverges into U.S. 264 in Zebulon — will keep its existing name for the time being. But the numbers are being changed now to avoid confusion for drivers.

The agency says the bid to upgrade that highway to Interstate 587 standards will be awarded in three to four years.

Those new numbers will start going up Thursday and should be completed by early next week, weather permitting, DOT says.