As the summer travel season comes to an end, the N.C. Department of Transportation is taking steps to help ensure motorists save both time and money by suspending most road construction work on major routes across the state over the Labor Day holiday. By avoiding traffic delays, motorists can reach their destinations safely and efficiently, while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs.
Most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended from 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2, with the following exceptions:
• In Raleigh, the two lanes of the I-40 West ramp onto I-440 West are reduced to one lane and I-440 East and West will remain in a two-lane pattern between I-40 and U.S. 64/264 as a part of the Fortify project.
• I-40 West in Canton is reduced to two lanes between mile markers 37 and 34 for median work.
• U.S. 74 in Waynesville (Haywood County) is reduced to one lane in each direction between mile marker 98 and the Jackson County line for median work.
• The N.C. 268 bridge over U.S. 52 in Pilot Mountain (Surry County) is closed for a bridge replacement.
• I-73 (Guilford County) is reduced to two lanes in each direction between I-40 and I-85 for a construction of a new interchange with High Point Road.
• U.S. 158 (Elizabeth Street) in Elizabeth City is reduced to one lane in each direction from Road Street to the Pasquotank River Bridge for resurfacing and construction of a new bridge.
• N.C. 171 south of Jamesville near Farm Life (Martin County) is reduced to one lane controlled by portable signals for a bridge replacement project.h
• U.S. 264 near Stumpy Point (Dare County) is reduced to one lane for a bridge replacement project; and
• N.C. 94 in Fairfield (Hyde County) is reduced to one lane for a culvert replacement project on the Lake Mattamuskeet causeway.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter.
Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. The site has a number of features to help travelers in addition to providing up-to-the-minute traffic information. For example, travelers can use NCDOT Mobile to easily locate the nearest North Carolina rest areas where they can take a break from their drive. They can pull up more information about amenities available at each rest area, as well as view them on a map and get driving directions.
To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.
Here are some additional tips for navigating the highways during the holiday travel season:
• Leave early to get a head start on your drive. Travel at non-peak hours when possible.
• Stay alert. Even if work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts in work zone areas.
• Be patient and obey the posted speed limit.
• Use alternate routes, when possible, to avoid traffic congestion.
• Stay informed. Real-time travel information is available over the phone by dialing 511.
• Don’t drive drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks.
• Avoid distracted driving. When drivers stop focusing on the road ahead, they react more slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in an accident.
In addition, the Labor Day “Booze It & Lose It” began Friday, Aug. 15 and runs through Monday, Sept. 1. Law enforcement officers will be out day and night, arresting those who make the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. Be smart. Designate a sober driver.
While you’re traveling this Labor Day holiday, remember, your job is to be a safe driver, so focus on the road and let everything else wait until you arrive at your destination.