RALEIGH, NC (NCDOT NEWS RELEASE) -- As the summer travel season begins, the NC Department of Transportation is taking steps to help 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 more quickly while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs.
To help motorists focus on driving, most construction projects along interstate, NC and US routes will be suspended from 4 p.m. Friday, May 25, until 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 29, with five exceptions:
-I-40 between Old Fort and Black Mountain (McDowell County) is reduced to two lanes in each direction on Old Fort Mountain near the Buncombe County line for barrier wall improvements;
-US 321/221 in Boone (Watauga County) is reduced to two lanes over Flannery Fork Creek for construction of a new bridge;
-US 421 (East King Street) in Boone has lane reductions from Hardin Street to NC 194 for repaving;
-US 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; and
-US 17 in Windsor (Bertie County) is reduced to one lane on the Cashie River Bridge due to construction. Traffic is controlled by signals; however, commercial trucks are restricted on this route, and detour signs are in place. All motorists are encouraged to use the US 17 Bypass around Windsor to avoid possible delays.
In addition, motorists can expect delays due to race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway that will generate significant delays in northeast Mecklenburg County and southwest Cabarrus County. The heaviest traffic is expected on I-85, US 29, NC 49 and Bruton Smith Boulevard.
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, users 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 "m.ncdot.gov" 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 Memorial 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.