News Releases

11/25/2014: Fortify Project Gains Momentum as It nears Phase II

Fortify Project Gains Momentum as It nears Phase II

Posted 11/25/2014 12:45:54 PM

Motorists will see additional work, traffic shifts on I-40 starting at the first of the year RALEIGH—Motorists driving through the Fortify I-40/440 Rebuild Project in Raleigh will soon see work ramp up on the I-40 portion of the project, known as Phase II. This comes as Phase I is on schedule and almost complete.  The I-440 West section from the I-40 split to the I-495/U.S. 264/64 interchange is scheduled to be in its updated traffic pattern by the end of December.  The I-440 East section is expected to be open in its three-lane pattern by the end of January. The Fortify project is a road rebuild project that is necessary for the safety of the 115,000 motorists who travel through this area each day. A chemical reaction occurring beneath the surface of the 30-year-old roadway is causing the road bed to crumble. In January, weather permitting, Fortify crews will phase in traffic shifts on both the I-40 East and West lanes near the Gorman/Lake Wheeler exits while construction takes place outside the barrier walls. Following that, crews will continue to put up barrier walls along the I-40 project work zone until this entire stretch of roadway operates in a three-lane traffic pattern. To reduce traffic impact the N.C. Department of Transportation is asking local employers to help get 30,000 vehicles off the road during the following peak commute times: Monday-Friday Morning:   6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Afternoon:   4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. “Rebuilding this roadway is critical to keeping thousands of North Carolinians connected to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation each day,” said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. “I’m proud that state government agencies, as well as other community partners, are working together to provide innovative ways to keep traffic flowing and help drivers to get where they need to go while these important safety improvements are under way.” As Wake County’s largest employer with more than 24,000 employees, state government agencies are proactively helping the road rebuild effort by offering their employees strategic ways to avoid I-40 and I-440 during peak travel times. Where possible, these agencies are encouraging staff impacted by the project to take advantage of the following options: • Alternate work schedules • Alternate work sites • Teleworking • Alternate forms of transportation “These are not one-size-fits-all options for every agency and state employee,” said Director of the Office of State Human Resources C. Neal Alexander.  “Each agency can determine what is most appropriate and effective for its employees, and tailor the options accordingly to ensure that productivity and efficiency continue during the most impactful portion of the project.” To help state employees with the cost of alternative transportation, the North Carolina Department of Administration is offering N.C. state government workers based in Wake County a GoPass as part of a pilot program associated with Fortify. The State is one of 15 public and private employers in the Triangle that invests in the GoPass program for employees.  For a list of employers and more information visit: http://www.gotriangle.org/transit/employee-discounts/. “This is a great opportunity to encourage more people to consider public transportation as a viable option,” said Triangle Transit General Manager David King. “For just a few dollars, the GoPass gives eligible workers a ride to and from work on all of the region’s transit systems. They avoid Fortify traffic, which is a plus for them as well as the thousands of other motorists who are driving through the construction area.” For more information and resources associated with the Fortify I-40/440 Rebuild Project, including alternative work schedule options, click on the links below: Project Site: www.fortifyNC.com Transit Information: www.my40ride.com
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11/24/2014: Don’t Be a Turkey. Buckle Up!

Don’t Be a Turkey. Buckle Up!

Posted 11/24/2014 3:45:15 PM

RALEIGH – Every year, thousands of people travel on North Carolina’s roadways to spend time with loved ones over the Thanksgiving holiday. For most of them, it’s a trip full of family, food and fellowship. But, for those travelers that don’t buckle up, the trip may not have such a happy ending. “If you are involved in a crash, wearing a seat belt reduces your risk of critical injury or death by 50 percent,” said Don Nail, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the busy holiday travel season, and it is the perfect time to remind North Carolinians to buckle up no matter where in the car they sit.” During the Thanksgiving “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which begins today and continues through Sunday, Nov. 30, law enforcement officers across the state will be out day and night to keep those who drive our highways safe.  While North Carolina reached a milestone in June by achieving a seat belt usage rate over 90 percent for the first time, November remains one of the top months for unbelted fatalities, particularly among 18-34 year-old males. The N.C. Department of Transportation  and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program offer these safety tips for drivers and passengers as they travel this Thanksgiving: • Buckle Up. Every Seat. Every Time.; • Don’t drink and drive. Make sure you have a sober designated driver; • Obey the speed limit; • Keep a safe following distance; • Turn on your headlights in the rain; and • Put away all distractions including cell phones - it can wait. For more information regarding “Click It or Ticket” activities, contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2660 or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***
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11/24/2014: NCDOT Aims to Help Travelers Save Time and Money Over Thanksgiving Holiday

NCDOT Aims to Help Travelers Save Time and Money Over Thanksgiving Holiday

Posted 11/24/2014 2:35:41 PM

RALEIGH – As the fall and winter travel seasons approach, the N.C. Department of Transportation is taking steps to help ensure motorists save money and time by suspending most road construction work across the state over the Thanksgiving holiday. Avoiding traffic delays will help ensure motorists can reach their destinations safely and efficiently, while cutting down on fuel consumption. Historically, congestion during the Thanksgiving weekend can be heavy at various times and locations throughout the state. To better help motorists plan for this year, NCDOT has compiled 2013 traffic data to develop maps showing congestion on North Carolina interstates the Wednesday before and Sunday after Thanksgiving Day last year. By clicking the play button on the bottom left corner of each map, you can view traffic congestion at hourly intervals. You can also zoom and pan to specific areas of the state. Similar information is also available for Virginia interstates. Motorists can keep tabs on this year’s travel conditions with real-time travel information at any time by calling 511, visiting the NCDOT traffic website or following NCDOT on Twitter. To also help travelers in North Carolina, most construction projects along interstates, N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended from 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, until 9 a.m., Monday, Dec. 1, with the following 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; •    N.C. 94 in Hyde County is reduced to one lane for culvert replacements on the Lake Mattamuskeet causeway; •    U.S. 264 in Dare County between Stumpy Point and Engelhard is reduced to one lane in three locations for the replacement of three bridges; •    U.S. 158 in Hertford County between Murfreesboro and Winton is reduced to one lane for paving. There will be no lane closures on Thanksgiving day; •    N.C. 137 in Gates County is closed at U.S. 158/13 as part of a widening project along U.S. 158/13. N.C. 137 traffic is currently following a signed detour; •    In Raleigh the two lanes of the I-40 West ramp onto I-440 West is reduced to one lane, and I-440 is in a two-lane pattern in both directions between I-40 and U.S. 64/264 as a part of the Fortify project; •    I-73 in Guilford County is reduced to two lanes in each direction between I-40 and I-85 for a new interchange with High Point Road; and •    I-295 Fayetteville Outer Loop will close the outbound (southbound) lanes of All-American Freeway between Fort Bragg and Santa Fe Drive Here are some additional tips for navigating the highways 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 zone areas. •    Be patient and obey the posted speed limit. •    Use alternate routes, when possible, to avoid traffic congestion. •    Don’t drive drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks. Motorists are advised to use caution while traveling in the area and to expect delays. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit. ***NCDOT***                                                                                         
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11/18/2014: NC Ferry Crew Receives Governor's Award For Excellence In Safety And Heroism

NC Ferry Crew Receives Governor's Award For Excellence In Safety And Heroism

Posted 11/18/2014 1:33:06 PM

(RALEIGH) - A North Carolina ferry crew was honored on Tuesday, Nov. 18, with the Governor's Award for Excellence in Safety and Heroism for the September 2013 rescue of two people in rough seas off of Ocracoke Island. The crew received the award in an afternoon ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. The rescue occurred on the evening of September 26, 2013 when John and Renee Hoffman of Black Mountain, NC were sailing in the waters of Big Foot Slough. Suddenly, deteriorating weather conditions caused their sailboat to capsize. "It all happened so fast", said John Hoffman. "The boat flipped and we were thrown into the water." Fortunately, the M/V Cedar Island was nearby, having just departed Ocracoke on its 8 p.m. run across Pamlico Sound. Captain Steven Goodwin maneuvered the Cedar Island into position and launched the ferry's 16-foot rescue boat, which crew members Glenn Salter and Daniel Smith piloted through 4-5 foot seas and 30 knot winds in the dark. Salter and Smith were able to pull the Hoffmans out of the water, and the rest of the crew brought them all back onto the ferry, where passengers already onboard the Cedar Island erupted into cheers. "We could not be more proud of this ferry crew," said North Carolina Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "Our crews are well trained to respond to emergency situations on the open water, and in this case that training and this crew's bravery saved two lives. These people deserve every bit of recognition they're getting today." Receiving the award are: Captain Steven Goodwin; Chief Engineer Gerry Gilliken; Oiler David Paul Styron; Crew Members Glenn Salter, Daniel Smith, and Randy Willis; and Mate Paul Morris.***NCDOT***
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[The crew of the M/V Cedar Island: From left to right: Ferry Crew Member Glenn Salter, Ferry Crew Member Daniel Smith, Oiler David Paul Styron, Ferry Crew Member Randy Willis, Captain Steven Goodwin, Chief Engineer Gerry Gilliken, Mate Paul Morris.] 
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11/12/2014: North Carolina’s Quick Pass and Georgia’s Peach Pass Now Interchangeable

North Carolina’s Quick Pass and Georgia’s Peach Pass Now Interchangeable

Posted 11/12/2014 1:12:00 PM

RALEIGH –Drivers who have a North Carolina Quick Pass transponder for their vehicles can use their device to pay for traveling on the I-85 Express Lanes near Atlanta, as well as any future toll roads that accept the Georgia Peach Pass transponder. That is a result of an interoperability agreement reached between North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, which allows owners of toll transponders in each of those states to use them when traveling in the other two. N.C. Quick Pass has had such an agreement with Florida and its SunPass system since July 2013. This is North Carolina’s third such transponder partnership, giving the state’s Quick Pass customers the largest coverage area of interoperability in the nation. A similar arrangement exists between Quick Pass and EZ Pass, which operates in15 states in the east, northeast and Midwest sections of the country. “This is another example of strong collaboration across several states to improve travel and enhance customer service,” said N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. "Expanding the reach of Quick Pass will give our customers access to key highways in the southeast, improving their travel experience in those states." The I-85 Express Lanes cover a 16-mile stretch of I-85 northeast of Atlanta, featuring variable toll rates, dependent on the traffic congestion. The result is faster travel times in exchange for the toll, even during times of heavy congestion on the general purpose lanes. Peach Pass customers will now be able to use the Triangle Expressway outside of Raleigh and any future toll roads in North Carolina, with the payment directly billed to their Peach Pass account. This convenience is already in place when SunPass customers use the Triangle Expressway. In Florida, the interoperability agreement allows Quick Pass transponders to be used in the SunPass-only lanes for more 700 miles of toll highways and bridges, including in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg and Fort Myers. For N.C. Quick Pass information, including payment and purchase options, call 1-877-7MY-PASS (1-877-769-7277) or visit the N.C. Quick Pass website.  For more information on Florida’s SunPass and  Georgia’s Peach Pass, go to the respective websites at www.SunPass.com and www.PeachPass.com.*** NCDOT ***
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