Drive safely, stay informed, N.C. DOT urges motorists for Labor Day weekend

Public-safety announcement

from the North Carolina Department of Transportation

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has suspended most highway construction over the Labor Day holiday to help motorists save both time and money on major routes across the state. By avoiding traffic delays, motorists can reach their destinations more quickly while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs.

Most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, with the exception of three projects:

• U.S. 17 Business in Jacksonville (Onslow County) is reduced to two-lane, two-way traffic on the Buddy Phillips Bridge over the New River for construction of a new bridge;

• U.S. 158 is reduced to two-lane, two way traffic over the Pasquotank River in Elizabeth City (Pasquotank/Camden Counties) due to a bridge replacement;

• and N.C. 32 South (Chowan County) between U.S. 17 Business and N.C. 94 (Soundside Road) is closed for a bridge replacement over Queen Anne Creek. All motorists are encouraged to use the U.S. 17 and N.C. 37 detour route to avoid possible delays.

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 2, at 9 a.m., road closures, parking restrictions and changes to public transportation routes and public works services will become necessary during the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) near the Time Warner Cable Arena and the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Motorists can expect heavy traffic delays and congested areas include downtown Charlotte in the area of the Time Warner Cable Arena and Bank of America Stadium.

Roads that may experience the greatest congestion are I-77, I-85, I-485, U.S. 74, and N.C. 27. Motorists who are not attending the DNC should avoid traveling through the Charlotte area. Those attending the DNC should expect travel delays as well as road closures in and around event venues. Drivers should stay alert and follow all posted signs and instruction from law enforcement officers.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is 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. For example, motorists can use NCDOT Mobile to easily locate the nearest North Carolina rest areas where they can take a break from their drive. They can pull up more information about amenities available at the rest area, as well as view the facility on a map and get driving directions.

To access it, type “” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.

Here are some additional tips for navigating the highways during the busy 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 zone areas.

• 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 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.

While you’re behind the wheel this Labor Day holiday, remember your job is to be a safe driver, so focus on the road and let everything else wait until you arrive at your destination.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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