Tips for North Carolina travelers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 21, 2014

As the summer travel season begins this weekend, 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. By avoiding traffic delays, motorists can reach their destinations quickly and safely, while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs. NCDOT reminds motorists to slow down, avoid distractions and be alert to their surroundings during this busy travel season.
Most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended from 4 p.m. Friday, May 23, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 27, with these exceptions:
• In Raleigh (Wake County), the two lanes of the I-40 West ramp onto I-440 West are reduced to one lane, and I-440 is in a two-lane pattern in both directions between I-40 and U.S. 64/264 as a part of the Fortify project;
• I-73 in Greensboro (Guilford County) has the right lane closed in each direction between mile marker 98 and 100 for the at High Point Road interchange project;
• N.C. 53 in Burgaw (Pender County) is reduced to one lane for a pipe replacement;
• N.C. 903, east of Garland (Sampson County), is closed for bridge replacement. A detour sends traffic on Lundy Road and N.C. 411.
• U.S. 158/Elizabeth Street in Elizabeth City (Pasquotank County) is reduced to one lane in each direction from Road Street to the Pasquotank River Bridge for resurfacing and construction of a new bridge;
• U.S. 13 is closed to all traffic north of Windsor (Bertie County) for replacement of the bridge over the Cashie River. A detour sends traffic on School Road, N.C. 308 and the U.S. 13/U.S. 17 Bypass;
• U.S. 13/17, south of Windsor (Bertie County), is reduced to one lane northbound for bridge rehabilitation work; and
• U.S. 264 near Stumpy Point (Dare County) is reduced to one lane for a bridge replacement project.
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. To access it, type “” into the browser of your smartphone.
Here are some additional tips for navigating the highways safely 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 zones.
• 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 online and 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.
The “Click It or Ticket” campaign runs through the Memorial Day holiday weekend and ends on June 1. During that time, law enforcement officers will step up patrols statewide and cite those who do not buckle up. NCDOT produced a public service announcement to remind drivers and passengers that wearing a seat belt is not an option; the law applies to “Every Seat. Every Time.”
While you’re behind the wheel this Memorial Day holiday weekend, remember your job is to be a safe driver, so buckle up, focus on the road, and let everything else wait until you arrive at your destination.