Labor Day travel: Know before you go

Published 10:11 am Monday, August 29, 2016

During the Labor Day weekend, the Department of Transportation will suspend most road construction activities on major routes across the state to ensure that holiday travelers will have smoother trips. Avoiding traffic delays can help motorists reach their destinations safely and efficiently, while also reducing fuel consumption.

Work on most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes will be put on hold from 6 a.m.on Wednesday, Aug. 31, until midnight, Monday, Sept. 5, with these exceptions:

• N.C. 42 in Hertford County is closed 500 feet east and west of Ahoskie Creek for a bridge replacement. There is a signed detour for motorists;
• N.C. 94 in Tyrrell County is closed at Elementary School Road on U.S. 64 for a construction of a bridge;
• N.C. 24 in Sampson County has lane closures between Marion-Amos Road and U.S. 421/701 to allow for widening of the east bound lane within the City of Clinton;
• Slocum Trail Road in Pender County is closed for culvert replacement;
• Joshua James Road in Pender County is closed for culvert replacement;
• I-85 in Vance and Warren counties has southbound lane closures between mile markers 213.5-218.5 and 226-230, with traffic is shifted into a two-lane, two-way pattern in those locations while the northbound lane are reconstructed; and• U.S. 74 in Jackson County has one lane open in each direction between mile marker 89.5 and 91 for a bridge replacement.

Here are some tips for navigating the highways safely during the Labor Day weekend:

• 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 (there can be an additional $250 fine if convicted of speeding in a work zone, even when work is suspended);
• Use alternative routes, when possible, to avoid traffic congestion;
• Don’t drive drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks; and
• 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.

Drivers also need to be aware that the Department of Transportation and Governor’s Highway Safety Program have already launched the annual Labor Day Booze It and Lose It campaign, stepping up enforcement of impaired driving laws through Sept. 5.

While you are traveling this Labor Day weekend, a driver’s job is to focus on the road and let everything else wait until you arrive at your destination.

For real-time travel information at any time, visit the Traveler Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter.