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7/31/2015: This Week at NCDOT: Nick Tennyson Named Acting Transportation Secretary

This Week at NCDOT: Nick Tennyson Named Acting Transportation Secretary

Posted 7/31/2015 12:49:26 PM

Nick Tennyson named Acting Transportation Secretary, NCDOT interns wrap up their summer and a new interchange is coming soon on the Triangle Expressway 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.  Nick Tennyson Named Acting Transportation SecretaryOn Tuesday, July 28, Transportation Secretary Tony Tata announced that he will be stepping aside to focus on his family and his work as an author. Tata joined NCDOT in January 2013. Nick Tennyson, who has served as Chief Deputy Secretary, is now the Acting Secretary of Transportation. NCDOT Interns Wrap up their SummerThis summer, various internship programs through NCDOT’s Office of Education Initiatives gave hundreds of college students the opportunity to explore the world of transportation in North Carolina. Students were able to work in all aspects of NCDOT, including traffic safety management, public transportation, aviation and photogrammetry.  New Interchange Planned for Triangle ExpresswayThe Triangle Expressway offers thousands of commuters an option for faster travel time each day between I-40 and the N.C. 55 Bypass. To keep up with rapid growth in the region, NCDOT recently awarded an $18.4 million design-built contract for the construction of a new interchange on the Triangle Expressway at Old Holly Springs-Apex Road. Design work is underway and construction is expected to begin in early 2016. 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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7/31/2015: Fortify Lane Shifts, Reductions Now Expected to Begin Friday Night

Fortify Lane Shifts, Reductions Now Expected to Begin Friday Night

Posted 7/31/2015 12:26:59 PM

Raleigh – Construction crews expect to begin additional lane shifts Friday night on part of eastbound I-40 in the Fortify Rebuild work zone in Raleigh. Contractors had planned to begin shifting and reducing the roadway to three lanes from Lake Wheeler Road to South Saunders Street Thursday night, but equipment issues and the threat of rain early Friday forced them to postpone those plans. Engineers said they would not have had enough time to complete the work in time for Friday's morning commute. Friday's night work is contingent on the weather, as well as other factors related to the construction project. No shifts or reductions are planned over the weekend, and work will resume next week and last for several weeks. The shifts and lane closures will continue to the I-40/I-440 split, reducing what is now four- and five-lane sections of I-40 East to three lanes. Similar work will eventually happen in the same area on I-40 West. The three-lane traffic patterns will allow construction crews to safely tear up the inside lanes so that they can rebuild the highway, which is crumbling as a result of a chemical reaction used in the asphalt to pave I-40 several decades ago. Meanwhile, other work continued this week with Fortify crews installing girders between the two I-40 bridges over Gorman Street in Raleigh. (Check out a video of crews setting the girders.) Workers are widening the bridges and completing the substructure to support the added lanes of traffic that will be needed once crews begin rebuilding the outside lanes of I-40 next year. "The work is being done in preparation for Phase II of the traffic pattern, where traffic will be put on the inside lanes," said Jack Pedro, a project inspector for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. "Essentially, they’ll be widening the bridge deck and filling the span between the bridges on I-40 East and West over Gorman Street to facilitate the widening of I-40." Over the next few weeks, crews will modify the bridge deck in preparation for the new pattern. ***NCDOT***
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7/29/2015: NCDOT Announces Release of State Highway Safety Plan

NCDOT Announces Release of State Highway Safety Plan

Posted 7/29/2015 11:41:42 AM

Raleigh--The N.C. Department of Transportation, on behalf of the Executive Committee for Highway Safety, has released the 2014 North Carolina Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which strives to make the state’s roads safer by reducing fatalities and injuries through strategic collaboration with various safety partners.     In 2014, there were 1,277 fatalities on North Carolina’s roadways, and 110,552 people were injured. The updated NCSHSP’s goal is to reduce these numbers by half before 2030, and to ultimately achieve the vision of zero highway deaths. “Every fatality or serious injury crash involves someone’s family member, co-worker or friend.” said Acting Secretary of Transportation Nick Tennyson. “Even one death is too many on our roadways and that is why we have a vision of zero fatalities for the future of our state.” The NCSHSP presents a comprehensive and collaborative approach for reducing fatalities and serious injuries on North Carolina’s roadways. The plan was developed through a diverse partnership of stakeholders representing the users of the North Carolina highway system and encompassing the 4 E’s of highway safety — education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency services. These safety stakeholders include state, regional, local, and tribal agencies, as well as other public and private partners.   NCDOT monitors fatalities and serious injuries on the state’s roadways, and the Executive Committee for Highway Safety uses the information to monitor the progress in implementing the strategies and achieving the goals of the NCSHSP. The goals provide an aggressive but achievable measure for the safety of all users on North Carolina’s highways, and will be achieved through the implementation of strategies and actions in nine safety emphasis areas. “We need to remind everyone that the most important safety feature in a car is the driver,” said State Traffic Engineer Kevin Lacy. “They need to be belted, attentive, and obey all traffic laws. If we can get everyone that drives to adhere to that statement, we will be able to bring our fatalities and injuries down.”   For additional information about the NCSHSP, contact Chris Oliver, Traffic Safety Specialist with NCDOT’s Traffic Safety Unit, at coliver@ncdot.gov. ***NCDOT***
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7/24/2015: Lane Shifts, Reductions Expected in Fortify I-40/I-440 Work Zone

Lane Shifts, Reductions Expected in Fortify I-40/I-440 Work Zone

Posted 7/24/2015 3:38:31 PM

Raleigh – Crews in the early stages of rebuilding an 8.5-mile stretch of I-40 in Raleigh will be shifting and reducing lanes along the highway in the coming weeks for the Fortify I-40/I-440 Rebuild project. These changes will be in place on I-40 East from Lake Wheeler Road to Hammond Road by late next week, weather permitting. Shifts are already in place in the eastbound lanes from U.S. 1 to Lake Wheeler Road, and eventually will extend to the I-40/440 split. I-40 between Lake Wheeler Road and the split, which is currently four and five lanes, will be reduced to three lanes. Similar shifts on I-40 West in the same area could begin by mid-August. The lane reductions are needed so construction crews can safely begin tearing up the inside lanes.   “Once the lane shifts and reductions are complete, crews will start rebuilding the inside section of the roadway,” said Amir Nezarati, a senior assistant resident engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. “This includes pipe installation, grading, crushing concrete and paving.” Lane shifts are just that – a shift in traffic. Although one or more lanes might be closed, drivers still have the same number of travel lanes because traffic is moved to the right onto the highway shoulder, which has been reinforced to handle daily traffic volume. For example, between U.S.1 and Lake Wheeler Road, the inside lane closest to the median is now blocked off with concrete barriers and the shoulder lane is now used as the third lane. When lanes are reduced, one or more are closed to traffic, leaving drivers with fewer travel lanes. Once lanes are reduced, drivers can expect an average of 30 additional minutes for both their morning and afternoon commutes and even longer when there is bad weather or incidents on the roadway. With the newly reconstructed I-440 section of the project now at full capacity, drivers might want to consider it as an alternate route to and from work as travel ***NCDOT***
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7/22/2015: Division 4 Employees Win 2015 NCDOT Roadeo

Division 4 Employees Win 2015 NCDOT Roadeo

Posted 7/22/2015 9:41:24 AM

RALEIGH — This year’s title for the N.C. Department of Transportation’s annual Equipment Operators’ Roadeo went to the heavy equipment operators at Division 4, hailing from Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties. They displayed a dominating performance that won the highest cumulative points at the event Tuesday at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The competition featured the winners in six events held at local Roadeos earlier this year in the 14 NCDOT highway divisions across the state. “This is a great chance for our people to demonstrate the skills it takes to deliver safe roads for the citizens of North Carolina,” said Nick Tennyson, NCDOT chief deputy secretary. There were 84 competitors from across the state showing off their skills in operating a single axle dump truck, tandem axle dump truck, lowboy truck/trailer, motor grader, backhoe and tractor/mower. They were tested on how well they operated the equipment in maneuvering around obstacles, backing up into enclosed locations, locating safety defects, and in other situations which reflect their daily challenges. Single-axle dump truck 1st – Benjie Caldwell from Madison County  (Division 13) 2nd –David Mabe from Stokes County (Division 9)   Tandem-axle dump truck 1st – Raymond Moore from Durham County  (Division 5)                    2nd – Chris Rawlins from Henderson County (Division 14) Lowboy truck/trailer 1st – Lynn Dagenhart from Alexander County (Division 12)                    2nd – Chris Floyd from Davidson County (Division 9) Backhoe 1st – David Brown from Lincoln County(Division 12)                          2nd – Troy Evans from Johnston County (Division 4) Motor Grader 1st – David Wilson from Harnett County (Division 6)                            2nd – Josh Leatherman from Cleveland County (Division 12) Tractor/mower 1st – Jason Brown from Macon County (Division 14)                          2nd – Lance Bass from Nash County (Division 4) Click here to watch a short video of the fun at the Roadeo. “This is a great event; it recognizes the skills of our equipment operators. It gives them a chance to come down here to Raleigh, show their skills, compete in a friendly competition,” said Richard Thompson, NCDOT safety engineer. “It also gives them recognition for what they do day in and day out.”   The winners and runners-up in each category will represent North Carolina in the Southeastern Regional competition in Myrtle Beach September 14.                                                                                 ***NCDOT***                                                                                      
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