News Releases

8/28/2015: This Week at NCDOT: Labor Day "Booze It and Lose It" Campaign Kicks Off

This Week at NCDOT: Labor Day "Booze It and Lose It" Campaign Kicks Off

Posted 8/28/2015 12:49:01 PM

NCDOT to suspend projects during holiday weekend, Labor Day "Booze It and Lose It" campaign kicks off and public meetings are coming up for the passenger ferry study RALEIGH — The following are highlights from the past week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. Several of the below stories are also featured in our weekly newscast, NCDOT Now, which can be viewed by clicking here. NCDOT Aims to Help Travelers Save Time, Money Over Labor Day Weekend As families travel to enjoy the final holiday weekend of summer, NCDOT will suspend most road construction activities on major routes across the state to help make their trips a little smoother. By avoiding traffic delays, motorists can reach their destinations safely and efficiently, while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs. NCDOT will put most construction projects on hold along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes from 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Labor Day "Booze It and Lose It" Campaign Kicks off at Highway Safety Symposium Hundreds of local law enforcement officers and officials gathered in Concord earlier this month for the North Carolina Highway Safety Symposium. This annual event provides valuable information from local and national experts on highway safety issues. The symposium also concluded with the official kick off of the 2015 Labor Day "Booze It and Lose It" campaign through the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. The campaign runs through September 7 and is focused on getting drunk drivers out from behind the wheel. Ferry Division To Host Public Meetings On Passenger Ferry Study Midway through a study on the possibility of passenger-only ferry service directly between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village, NCDOT’s Ferry Division will host two public meetings on the topic next week. The scheduled meetings will take place: •    Monday, Aug. 31, from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Ocracoke Community Center •    Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum For more information on NCDOT Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 707-2660. Additional news stories from throughout the week can be found on NCDOT’s online newsroom. ***NCDOT***
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8/28/2015: NCDOT’s Helping Travelers Save Time, Money Over Labor Day Weekend

NCDOT’s Helping Travelers Save Time, Money Over Labor Day Weekend

Posted 8/28/2015 10:02:46 AM

RALEIGH – As families travel to enjoy the final holiday weekend of summer, the N.C. Department of Transportation will suspend most road construction activities on major routes across the state to help make their trips a little smoother. By avoiding traffic delays, motorists can reach their destinations safely and efficiently, while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs.  NCDOT will put on hold most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes from 4 p.m., Friday, September 4, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, September 8 with these exceptions:  U.S. 158 (Elizabeth Street) in Elizabeth City 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. 264 in Dare County will have lane closures at five locations to replace five bridges by phased construction. Traffic will be controlled by temporary signals;Hanover Street to Campbell Street will be closed with detours in New Hanover County due to a bridge replacement;Southbound Interstate 85 at Poplar Mount Road (mile marker 227.5) north of Henderson will have one lane closed;I-40 in the Fortify work zone in Raleigh will have lane closure restrictions, with travel limited to three lanes in both directions;U.S. 311 south of Archdale in Randolph County is closed and a detour is in place due to a culvert replacement project;I-73 in Guilford County is reduced to three lanes in each direction in Greensboro between Wendover Avenue and I-85;U.S. 21 in Alleghany County has two automated signals in place along a 10-mile stretch for staged structure replacement; Eastbound U.S. 74 in Cleveland County has a one-lane pattern just east of Sandy Run Creek bridges and a one-lane detour route along new ramps for Peachtree Road and back to U.S. 74; andSouthbound I -77 Exit 51B in Iredell County is closed and a detour is in place due to ramp work at U.S. 21.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.For real-time travel information, visit the Travel section of the NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Also, the 2015 Labor Day Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) “Booze It & Lose It” has kicked off and runs through September 7. Nearly every law enforcement agency in the state participates in this highly-effective anti-drunk driving enforcement and education campaign. Last year approximately 2,800 DWI arrests were made during the Labor Day campaign. Local and state law enforcement officers also issued more than 102,000 traffic and criminal citations statewide. Sobriety checkpoints will be continually set up in all North Carolina counties during this year’s campaign. Remember, there are more ways than ever to get home if you have been drinking. Call a friend, take a taxi, ride public transportation, designate a sober a driver or use a ridesharing app.
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***NCDOT***
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8/25/2015: Ferry Division To Host Public Meetings On Passenger Ferry Study

Ferry Division To Host Public Meetings On Passenger Ferry Study

Posted 8/25/2015 1:35:29 PM

(MANNS HARBOR) - Midway through a study on the possibility of passenger-only ferry service directly between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division will host two public meetings on the topic August 31 and September 1. The meetings will be an open forum, where members of the public can stop by at their convenience and offer questions and comments about the Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study and its findings to Ferry Division Officials and representatives from Volkert, the firm conducting the study. “We’ll be presenting the public with the study’s findings to this point,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “We have several options for the number and types of boats we could start out with, as well as ideas on parking and dock improvements on both sides. We definitely want to get the public’s feedback before we proceed with a plan.” The scheduled meetings are: August 31, 5-7 p.m. at the Ocracoke Community Center, 999 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke. September 1, 5-7 p.m. at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, 59200 Museum Drive, Hatteras. The Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study began earlier this year and has included meetings with the public and local stakeholders, as well as a ferry passenger survey and test runs by the Provincetown III, a catamaran-style passenger ferry based out of Boston. The survey is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. (NCDOT)
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Caption: The Provincetown III visited Ocracoke May 4
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8/19/2015: Governor McCrory Stresses Staying Safe When Traveling Back to School

Governor McCrory Stresses Staying Safe When Traveling Back to School

Posted 8/19/2015 10:28:39 AM

Raleigh, N.C.  – More than 1.5 million students across the state will head back to the classroom next week, and North Carolina officials want to make sure those students arrive safely and ready to learn.   With more cars, buses and pedestrians packing North Carolina roadways, Governor Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol urge motorists to stay alert and exercise caution on the road, especially around schools, crosswalks, school buses and bus stops.   “Safety, especially the safety of our students at this time of year, is our number one priority, and we want all drivers to stay alert and slow down as more children will soon be standing at bus stops, crossing the road to get on buses and walking or riding their bikes to schools,” said Governor McCrory. “We also want to remind all drivers, particularly our teen drivers, to put their phones away, keep their eyes on the road and avoid all distractions and slow down.”   In Wake County during the first month of the last school year, one student was hit and killed while waiting for the bus, and two teens were killed in crashes on their way to school. Seven students statewide were hit and injured crossing to get on the bus or at the bus stop during the entire 2014-2015 school year.   “These tragic accidents can be prevented if drivers, parents and students practice simple safety measures. Rushing to save a few minutes or a distraction of a few seconds can trigger life-altering or life-ending consequences,” said NCDOT Secretary Nick Tennyson.   While texting, the average time your eyes are off the road is five seconds. That's enough time to drive the length of a football field blindfolded when traveling at 55 mph. With more than 14,000 school buses traveling North Carolina highways daily, paying attention to the road and avoiding distractions can help keep everyone safe.   “As we begin the school year, our troopers will be closely monitoring school buses. Our number one goal is to ensure the safety of the public but particularly our children,” said Col. Bill Grey, Commander of the Highway Patrol. “To accomplish this goal, we must work together to keep our school children safe and to educate all drivers on the importance of school bus safety.”   Back-to-school safety tips for students and parents: Cross in crosswalks. Watch for and obey crossing guards. Look both ways before crossing the street. Be careful crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross. Pay attention. When walking, avoid distractions like cellphones. Obey signs and signals. Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the road as you can. Back-to-school safety tips for drivers: Know when to stop for school buses. (Read more.)  Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Obey all posted school zone speed limits. Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians. Before turning, be sure the path is clear. Slow down near bus stops, schools and playgrounds. No drinking and driving. Buckle up. Avoid distractions such as food, passengers and using mobile devices. Texting while driving is illegal.  North Carolina has stiff penalties for motorists who fail to comply with school bus safety rules. There is a $500 penalty for motorists who are caught passing a stopped school bus, and a five-point penalty on their driver license. A driver who passes a stopped school bus and strikes someone will face a Class I felony and be fined a minimum of $1,000. The penalty increases to a Class H felony and fine of $2,500 if someone is killed. Additional driving tips for teens: Don’t speed. Avoid distractions. Cellphone use is illegal for drivers under 18. For provisional license holders, no more than one passenger at a time. For more information, visit the Watch for Me NC campaign website to learn more about what you can do to keep roads safe for everyone.    Visit the NCDMV website for more information about school bus laws, or consult the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook. To get a copy, call 1-877-DOT-4YOU or visit www.ncdot.gov/dmv/driver_services/drivershandbook. ***NCDOT***
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8/18/2015: NC to Move Forward with Construction of Bonner Bridge Replacement

NC to Move Forward with Construction of Bonner Bridge Replacement

Posted 8/18/2015 2:20:17 PM

Raleigh, N.C. — Governor Pat McCrory announced Tuesday that the final roadblocks were cleared Friday allowing the N.C. Department of Transportation to proceed with construction of a new Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on N.C. 12 over the Oregon Inlet in Dare County.   Completing the terms of a settlement agreement reached in June, environmental groups represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center have dropped all remaining lawsuits that prevented NCDOT from replacing the 52-year-old Bonner Bridge with a new bridge parallel to the existing one.    “This marks another historic milestone in finally replacing the critical lifeline bridge for residents and visitors of the Outer Banks and supporting our continued efforts to connect North Carolina,” Governor McCrory said. “I want to thank the entire team of NCDOT employees, state, and federal attorneys who have worked so hard to make this possible and find a solution for the Bonner Bridge project which had been stalled for more than 20 years.”    With the final dismissals, NCDOT and the contractor expect to complete final design and preconstruction work in time to begin building the new bridge in Spring of 2016.  In addition to replacing the Bonner Bridge NCDOT will also:  Construct a new interim bridge over the breached inlet on Pea Island  Construct a 2.5-mile-long Pamlico Sound bridge, known as a “jug handle,” from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge into Rodanthe Bonner Bridge Replacement  NCDOT awarded a $216 million design-build contract for the 3.5 mile-long Bonner Bridge replacement to the team of PCL Constructors Inc. and HDR Engineering Inc. of the Carolinas in 2011. This contract is still in place and the final contract amount will be adjusted to meet current costs associated with the construction delay.    Pea Island  NCDOT will move forward with plans to construct an interim bridge on Pea Island at the location of the existing temporary bridge that was constructed after Hurricane Irene formed a breach in 2011. The interim bridge will be easier to maintain than the existing temporary bridge. It will provide safe access for the area while the department studies options for a long-term solution at this location.    NCDOT expects to award a contract for this project in the fall, with construction starting as early as the end of this year.    Rodanthe Long-Term Bridge  With the preferred design officially approved by the project merger team, NCDOT can also proceed with constructing the long-term bridge for N.C. 12 from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge south into Rodanthe.    By replacing the existing stretch of N.C. 12 with a bridge in the Pamlico Sound, NCDOT will be able to maintain safe and reliable access for residents and visitors of Rodanthe and southern Hatteras Island. This area includes a section of N.C. 12 north of Rodanthe known locally as the “S-curves” also damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011.    The bridge is estimated to cost between $178.8 million and $197.8 million. Before a design-build contract is awarded and a timeframe for construction can be set, final documentation must be completed.    The department chose this design over a bridge along the existing route of N.C. 12 because it minimizes impacts to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, the ocean shoreline and the Rodanthe community.    ***NCDOT*** 
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