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IMAP patrol expands to Rowan

SALISBURY ó Drivers along Interstate 85 in Rowan and Davidson counties can now count on more help in case of a breakdown or blowout. The N.C. Department of Transportation has expanded its Incident Management Assistance and Patrol to the interstate in both counties.
Frequent interstate travelers will recognize the IMAP program by its yellow trucks, which help stranded motorists not involved in accidents. The trucks carry vehicle jacks, jumper cables and other tools, and their drivers help guide motorists unfamiliar with the area where they have broken down to nearby gas stations, repair shops and hotels.
The expansion also includes Randolph County, closing a gap between Charlotte and Raleigh and providing the entire I-85 corridor from the South Carolina state line to the N.C. capital with IMAP coverage. The new area includes the work zone for the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project, which will replace the I-85 bridges over the Yadkin River, along with other nearby bridges, and widen 7.1 miles of I-85 from four lanes to eight lanes in Rowan and Davidson.
ěBy putting more IMAP drivers in more places, we can better help stranded motorists with flat tires get back on the road again or remove stalled vehicles out of the roadway to prevent congestion and accidents from occurring,î said Jeron Monroe, a regional transportation engineer who oversees IMAP in the Triad.
Currently, IMAP patrols the new routes between Raleigh and Charlotte weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and aims to have weekend patrols in place by September.
ěWe know that every minute a stalled car sits in a travel lane it creates at least four minutes of traffic back up and can trigger accidents,î said Brian Purvis, the Transportation Departmentís state incident management engineer. ěThatís why itís vital that we get to the scene quickly, push the car to the roadside and help unclog traffic.î
IMAP drivers direct traffic while law enforcement officers are responding to accidents, as well as move disabled cars out of traffic lanes.
Though IMAP drivers do respond to emergencies, calling 911 will not dispatch an IMAP driver to a motoristís specific location. Instead, any stranded motorists should call the N.C. Highway Patrol at *47, and the patrol will dispatch IMAP if needed. Motorists driving in a lane next to an IMAP truck should move over at least one lane as ordered by state law.
For more information, log on to www.ncdot.gov

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