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. 30, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 3, with these exceptions:
· U.S. 1 just north of Aberdeen (Moore County) is reduced to one lane in each direction for construction of a new bridge;
· U.S. 74 near Laurel Hill (Scotland County) is reduced to one lane in the westbound direction for bridge work;
· U.S. 158 (Elizabeth Street) in Elizabeth City is reduced to two lanes in each direction over the Pasquotank River for resurfacing and construction of a new bridge; and
· I-73 (Guilford County) is reduced to two lanes in each direction between I-40 and I-85 to build a new interchange with High Point Road.
In addition, two N.C. routes are closed in the northwestern part of the state due to damage sustained during the record-setting summer rainfall:
· N.C. 163 near Glendale Springs (Ashe County); and
· N.C. 194 near Newland (Avery County).
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter.
Another way to “know before you go” is with 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 area where they can take a break from their drive. They can pull up information about the 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.
· 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” campaign began Aug. 16 and runs through Sept. 2. Law enforcement officers are stepping up patrols and conducting checkpoints statewide to catch drunk drivers. As shown in this new public service announcement, getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol is a dumb idea. 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.