RALEIGH – With a very busy Thanksgiving holiday travel weekend being predicted, the N.C. Department of Transportation is suspending most road and lane closures on major highways across the state from 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21 until 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 27.
The exceptions to the suspension of lane and road closures are locations where work has made it unsafe to open all lanes, such as where a bridge is being replaced, or travel lanes are being constructed or rebuilt. They include:
- In Dare County, the eastbound U.S. 158 Wright Memorial bridge is closed for deck rehabilitation, so traffic is in a two-lane, two-way pattern on the westbound bridge;
- In Carteret County, N.C. 58 is closed between Loon Drive and Islander Drive south of Atlantic Beach;
- In Nash County, U.S. 64 Business (Sunset Avenue) is closed between Buck Leonard Boulevard and May Drive for a bridge replacement;
- In Vance and Warren counties, Interstate 85 will be in a single-lane pattern in each direction on the northbound side for about 15 miles between U.S. 1 (exit 218) and the Virginia state line;
- In Davidson County, I-85 Business has one lane closed in each direction at the N.C. 8 interchange for a bridge replacement;
- In Catawba County, U.S. 70 has the eastbound right lane closed at 7th Street for a pipe replacement; and
- In Macon County, U.S. 441 Business is closed at the Little Tennessee River for a bridge replacement.
Travelers also need to be aware that there are a number of local roads that may have closures or lane restrictions that will be in place through the extended weekend. They can check on road conditions 24 hours a day by going to www.DriveNC.gov and using the drop-down menus to search by county, region or the specific roads they plan to use. During daytime hours, calling 511 will get live operators to provide travel assistance.
Drivers are urged to use caution and obey the posted speed limit when traveling through work zones, even if no construction activity is taking place.
Here are some additional tips for safe driving during the holiday season:
- Leave early to get a head start, and travel at non-peak hours if possible, as Wednesday afternoon/evening and Sunday afternoon/evening will be the heaviest traffic congestion periods;
- Use alternative routes if possible to avoid traffic congestion;
- Allow extra time for your trip, regardless of the route you choose;
- To avoid drowsy driving, travel at times you are normally awake and take frequent breaks;
- Avoid distracted driving; and
- Use your seat belt, with an extra incentive being the annual Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign will be under way through the holiday weekend, with law enforcement making sure drivers and passengers are buckled up.