News Releases

2/26/2015: State Responds to Winter Storm

State Responds to Winter Storm

Posted 2/26/2015 2:28:46 PM

Raleigh, NC – Governor Pat McCrory briefed citizens from the State Emergency Operations Center Thursday on the response to last night’s snowfall across the state.   “It’s not often that the entire state of North Carolina sees significant snowfall like we’ve seen this week,” Governor McCrory said. “While it is beautiful, it also can be dangerous causing downed trees, power outages and treacherous driving conditions. Throughout the morning, we’ve seen driving conditions improve and we expect that to continue through the afternoon. We still have a lot of work to do in the next 24 hours.”   The governor warned motorists to be cautious when driving, and urged everyone to be at their final destination by evening before temperatures start falling and the slush turns to black ice.   The overnight winter storm brought an additional 4 to 6 inches of snow to the mountains, between 3 and 7 inches of snow through much of the Triad, Triangle and central part of the state and 2 to 3 inches throughout greater Charlotte and eastern North Carolina.  The southeastern portions received mostly rain.     On Wednesday, the governor activated the State Emergency Operations Center, declared a state of emergency, and waived certain vehicle weight and service hour requirements to expedite storm response.   Power outages climbed steadily overnight, peaking near 230,000 outages around 9 a.m., as the snow transitioned to sleet and rain adding extra weight to trees and power lines. By noon, less than 180,000 were still without power. Most of the outages are the Triangle area.   Two people died Tuesday in separate weather-related vehicle crashes; no other weather-related fatalities have been reported since then.   While checking on stranded motorists in Cherokee County, Trooper R.Y. Ellison came upon a frantic young mother in a vehicle with her infant child.  The infant was having trouble breathing and the mother had just called 911.  Trooper Ellison helped the mother assist the child and summoned nearby Trooper H.S Robertson, who is an EMT-Paramedic.  The two troopers rendered aid for what appeared to be a temporarily blocked airway until a Cherokee EMS unit arrived.   Emergency Management officials are coordinating with law enforcement officers from the Highway Patrol, ALE, Wildlife, and Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft, along with National Guard.   "Black ice will continue to be a problem in the coming days,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “Our State Emergency Response Team partners, which includes county and state level emergency management,   law enforcement teams, National Guard troops and DOT are all collaborating to respond to constantly changing needs. The best way to remain safe is to stay off the roads that are covered in snow and ice and plan to stay off roads that may be susceptible to refreezing as the temperatures drop after dark.”   NCDOT crews continue to work on plowing and treating roads across the state.   As the latest round of winter weather moved in, NCDOT crews again worked through the night to plow and treat snow and ice covered roads. While the wet, slushy nature of the snow makes it easier to push off the roadways, crews in some harder hit areas are removing downed trees and debris from the roads in addition to clearing them of snow and ice. To help speed operations, the department is shifting some crews and equipment from less affected areas to those with greater impacts. The department will continue working throughout the day to clear affected roads, starting with primary routes and then moving on to smaller secondary roads, and crews will also be in place overnight to address any additional issues that arise.   “I want to thank our hard working crews and other partners for their continued efforts through this latest storm,” NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata said. “While some of our state fared better than expected, road conditions remain treacherous in many areas, including the possibility of downed trees and debris, and we ask that motorists continue to use extreme caution and avoid travel if possible as we work to address all our roadways.”   Real-time weather and road conditions, as well as winter safety tips, can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or on line at www.readync.org website.    Travelers are urged to call 511 or go to www.ncdot.org for up-to-date roadway conditions. Motorists are reminded to call 911 for emergencies only and refrain from calling the State Highway Patrol Communication Centers for roadway conditions.     ###
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2/24/2015: NCDMV Driver License and License Plate Agency Closures/Delays Due to Inclement Weather

NCDMV Driver License and License Plate Agency Closures/Delays Due to Inclement Weather

Posted 2/24/2015 3:55:07 PM

RALEIGH — Due to inclement weather across the state, please find below the updated list of driver license and license plate agency closures and/or delays. *If your local driver license or license plate agency is not listed below, the office is operating at normal business hours and fully operational.   Closures and/or delays for Friday, February 27, 2015: Driver License Office Updates: Location / Status Ahoskie - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Asheboro - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Boone - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Brevard - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Burgaw - Closed. Burnsville - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Carrboro - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Concord - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Durham (South Miami Blvd.) - Closed. Durham (South Roxboro St.) - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Edenton - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Elkin - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Franklin - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Graham - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Greensboro (East Market St.) - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Greensboro (Coliseum Blvd.) - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Hendersonville - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. High Point - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Hudson - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Jefferson - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Kernersville - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Lexington - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Louisburg - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Marshall - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Mocksville - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Morganton - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Mount Airy - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Newland - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Roxboro - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Salisbury - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Sanford - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Siler City - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Sparta - Closed. Spruce Pine - Closed. Tarboro - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Taylorsville - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Thomasville - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Walnut Cove - Closed. Wentworth - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Williamston - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Winston-Salem (North Patterson Ave.) - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Winston-Salem (Silas Creek Parkway) - Office is open but is not administering road tests at this time. Yanceyville - Closed. License Plate Agency Updates: Location / Status TBA License & Theft Bureau Updates: Location / Status TBA                        
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2/23/2015: NCDOT Encourages STEM Careers with National Engineering Week Events

NCDOT Encourages STEM Careers with National Engineering Week Events

Posted 2/23/2015 1:34:33 PM

Raleigh—Engineers innovate, create and solve problems.  They are key to our health, safety and happiness.  This year, in the United States, we celebrate their contribution to our world during National Engineers Week Feb. 22 – 28.  The N.C. Department of Transportation is honoring the men and women who use their science, technology, engineering and math skills (STEM) to better our world with a number of events planned at various schools around the state.  These events are designed to entice students to sharpen their STEM skills so they, too, may eventually enter this field of innovation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of American high school students are interested in STEM careers. To some students, an engineering career doesn’t carry the thrill as does as a professional athlete or even an actor, but experts have found, once children and teens realize they can personally invent, create, build, or design something of value, the definition of a thrilling career may shift. That’s what happened to Grace Mang.  She is a 10th grade student at Wake STEM Early College High School who, as a child, became intrigued by how things were built.  “I like building things and learning how things work, so I always pursued that,” she said. “In fact, my chemistry teacher saw my interest and inspired me to pursue STEM fields.  In class, we don’t just learn how things work, but we also learn how to relate it to real world problems.” That’s why NCDOT’s Office of Education Initiatives strives to provide numerous educational opportunities for students through activities and initiatives that focus heavily on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to develop a talented workforce to meet North Carolina’s future demands. During National Engineers Week, NCDOT will collaborate with various schools to provide hands-on, real world experiences that create moments of discovery for elementary, middle and high school students through STEM-focused activities. List of Events: Career Exploration Job Shadow Day with Carroll Middle School Tuesday, Feb. 24 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. NCDOT Transportation Building 1 South Wilmington Street Raleigh, NC  27601 Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day Tuesday, Feb.24 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Forsyth Tech-Mazie Woodruff Center 4905 Lansing Drive Winston-Salem, NC  27105 Engineering in the Classroom Wednesday, Feb.25 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Mills Park Middle School 441 Mills Park Drive Cary, NC  27519 Redesigning (Sub)Urban Infrastructure in the Classroom Thursday, Feb. 26 Wake STEM Early College High School 715 Barbour Drive Raleigh, NC  27603 Career Exploration Job Shadow Day with Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy Friday, Feb. 27 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. NCDOT Transportation Building 1 South Wilmington Street Raleigh, NC  27601 The celebration of National Engineers Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with President George Washington's birthday.   President Washington is considered the nation’s first engineer, notably for his survey work. For more information on NCDOT’s events scheduled to celebrate this week, contact Ashley Goolsby, Director of Education Initiatives at angoolsby@ncdot.gov or 919.707.4329.
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2/20/2015: Fortify Friday: The Latest Information on the I-40/440 Rebuild Project

Fortify Friday: The Latest Information on the I-40/440 Rebuild Project

Posted 2/20/2015 12:46:14 PM

RALEIGH--  Schools canceled classes, some retail outlets shut down early, and this week’s wintry weather, complete with record-cold temperatures,  put a halt to business-as-usual for many companies, but not for work on the Fortify:  I-40/440 Rebuild Project.  Earlier this week, even when temperatures dipped into the teens and then single digits, you could still see workers --  protected with heavy coats, hats and gloves -- installing drains and pipes, working on bridges, and determined to finish their scheduled duties.  The only limitation—paving. “It doesn’t matter how cold or hot it is, construction still goes on,” said Amir Nezarati, Senior Assistant Resident Engineer.  “But paving is a different story,“  he added.  “Asphalt is hot and if it cools too quickly, it’s not workable and can get brittle.”  The lowest temperature that allows for paving is near 45 degrees.  The temperatures earlier this week sat near 20, and plummeted even lower late this week. Even though paving was put on hold for a few days, it doesn’t affect the project’s construction schedule.  Contractors prepare for adverse weather conditions by taking storm days into consideration on the project timeline.  So, NCDOT is pleased to report, construction on the Fortify I-40/440 Rebuild Project is still on schedule.    There is, however, one casualty of the recent storm.  Plows that cleared snow and ice from the 11.5 mile stretch of the Fortify project also cleared some of the lane markers.  And now that the snow and ice are off the roadway, once temperatures are on the rise, crews will be replacing the damaged markers this weekend, and paving on the Inner Loop will resume soon. PROJECT UPDATE:   Motorists should keep an eye out for slow moving traffic as crews replace the lane markers that snow plows cleared earlier this week.  Also, on the I-440 Outer Loop,  crews are getting the light poles and overhead traffic signs in place.   On the I-440 Inner Loop, crews are painting lane striping for when traffic is opened back to its three-lane pattern in a few weeks. On the I-40 portion of the project, crews continue to widen bridges and do the preparatory work to make the shoulder lane usable as a travel lane for when traffic is shifted and narrowed to its three-lane pattern sometime in the Spring.
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2/19/2015: NCDOT Signs Contract For Passenger Ferry Test Runs

NCDOT Signs Contract For Passenger Ferry Test Runs

Posted 2/19/2015 2:38:10 PM

(MANNS HARBOR) - As part of its ongoing feasibility study on passenger ferry service, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has signed an agreement with Bay State Cruise Company to charter the M/V Provincetown III for test runs of a potential passenger ferry route between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village on May 4-5, 2015. "These test runs will allow us to judge the feasibility of the route, duration of the voyage, fuel consumption, and other factors that will help us determine whether passenger ferry service is something that we can and should be offering," said NCDOT Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "It's all part of the due diligence required in the feasibility study." The Provincetown III is a catamaran-style ferry that is 98 feet long and carries 149 passengers. It services the Boston to Provincetown route in the summer and works in the Caribbean in the winter. The ship will be on its return voyage north when it stops in North Carolina. NCDOT commissioned a feasibility study on passenger ferry service late last year in an effort to solve summertime congestion issues on the Hatteras Inlet route. The study is being conducted by Volkert, an infrastructure engineering firm based in Mobile, Alabama. It is scheduled to be complete by December 2015. (NCDOT)
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(Caption: The Provincetown III) (Courtesty Bay State Cruise Company) 
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