Motorists are encouraged both locally, and statewide, to plan ahead and allow plenty of extra travel time over the next few days.
Locally, the move in for Appalachian State will be in full swing as both on campus and off campus students return starting on Friday. Some off campus move-ins began earlier in the week. Classes for ASU start on Tuesday Aug 22.
Watauga County Schools return for the start of the calendar year on Monday, which will lead to increased traffic in school zones and buses on the roads. Schools on Monday will dismiss 15 minutes later.
And then there is the added element of the solar eclipse on Monday. Officials statewide are asking motorists to plan ahead, especially those traveling to locations in the path of totality. Planning has been ongoing for months in preparation for thousands — likely hundreds of thousands — of people traveling either to or through North Carolina for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. NCDOT says to expect higher volumes of traffic on every road. Eclipse watchers are encouraged to arrive early. Remember to obey all posted signs and message boards.
NCDOT will suspend road work and lane closures on primary routes in the 17 westernmost counties between Friday evening and Tuesday afternoon. Other interstates across the state will be monitored, and lane closures will be removed if heavy traffic backups occur.
Along with other local events this weekend it is sure to be a busy time on High Country roadways.