News Releases

3/22/2017: NCDOT Establishes Best Practices for Drone Use in Disaster Response

NCDOT Establishes Best Practices for Drone Use in Disaster Response

Posted 3/22/2017 11:11:08 AM

RALEIGH – Whether conducting a search and rescue operation for a lost hiker or assisting public agencies during a major flood event, drones can play an essential role during emergency response. The N.C. Department of Transportation has established best practices and recommended policies for agencies using drones in these situations. The final report was released after NCDOT’s Division of Aviation held a workshop with emergency management personnel from around the state in January. “The exercise produced several key findings and recommendations that support the immediate, safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System,” said Aviation Division Director Bobby Walston. “This will make our state’s public agencies more effective as drone operations become more routine.” Experts say some advantages of using drones in disaster response include: Navigating unreachable locations more closely and easily compared to larger aircraft; Providing a quicker response time; Taking away the human risk that can come with operating larger aircraft; and Conducting search and rescue less expensively. By N.C. General Statute, NCDOT’s Division of Aviation has a mission to promote aviation safety and is leading statewide drone education and training through a series of exercises and workshops.  “The need for this type of exercise has never been stronger,” said Walston. “Ensuring the use of this technology is properly coordinated is top priority in guaranteeing operations are conducted safely and effectively.” The Federal Aviation Administration has exclusive authority over the use of airspace in the United States, including the airspace used by drones. NCDOT has authority to implement and manage regulations that pertain to state laws concerning operations within North Carolina.  
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3/18/2017: NCDOT Dedicates Gold Star Highway

NCDOT Dedicates Gold Star Highway

Posted 3/18/2017 3:08:56 PM

Fayetteville – The N.C. Department of Transportation today formally dedicated portions of N.C. 24 as the Gold Star Highway. The counties included in the designation are Carteret, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Onslow and Sampson. The N.C. Board of Transportation approved the highway name change in June 2016. Transportation Secretary James Trogdon III, speaking at the ceremony at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, said the department will install 12 signs along the route, including one at each county line, to remind travelers of the service and sacrifice of Gold Star families. The symbol of the Gold Star came from families of service personnel hanging a banner called a Service Flag with a gold star in the window of their homes to represent those who lost their lives serving their nation. Trogdon, who retired in 2016 as the Deputy Adjutant General for the North Carolina National Guard, said that it was an honor to recognize military families at his first road naming ceremony since becoming Secretary of Transportation in January. Other speakers at the ceremony included: Terry Hutchens, Division 6 Member, N.C. Board of Transportation; Rev. Randy Cash, N.C. American Legion; Greg Gebhardt, Advisor, N.C. General Assembly; Rep. David Lewis, Member, N.C. General Assembly; Lorie Southerland, Gold Star Mother; Alicia Woods, Gold Star Spouse and Larry D. Hall, Secretary, N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.   Photo Cutline: L to R: Larry D. Hall, Secretary, N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Lorie Southerland, Gold Star Mother; Alicia Woods, Gold Star Spouse, James Trogdon, III, Secretary of Transportation. ***NCDOT***
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3/17/2017: Governor Makes Surprise Visit to Model Bridge Competition

Governor Makes Surprise Visit to Model Bridge Competition

Posted 3/17/2017 2:08:19 PM

Two Wake County Teams Advance to State Finals RALEIGH -  Governor Roy Cooper today surprised local students by visiting the 18th annual Model Bridge Building Competition, sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation. “We have bridges all over the state that need to be tested and bridges that need to be repaired,” said Cooper. “I am grateful for your teachers who are teaching you. We need engineers, and hopefully, you will become engineers.” Franklin Academy of Wake Forest won top honors in the high school competition. N.C. State MSEN Pre-College of Wake County took first place among middle schools. The event features teams of students who design and build model bridges that are weight-tested by NCDOT engineers. Designs and presentations are judged by a panel of engineers from NCDOT and private-sector companies. The competition provides students with a hands-on opportunity to apply their science, technology, engineering and math skills to a real-world scenario. “Because of the bridge competition, I’m able to get kids interested in a STEM career,” said Franklin Academy calculus teacher Pamela Koloustroubis. “STEM careers make possible the technology and infrastructure that improves our quality of life.” The two first place teams, along with the winners from other regional events held in Morganton, Asheboro and Kinston, will compete in the state finals in Raleigh on April 28. To learn more about the competition check out the Model Bridge Building event video on YouTube, or contact event organizer Sterling Johnson at scjohnson@ncdot.gov.   Cutline: Governor Cooper with students at the Regional NCDOT Model Bridge Building Competition in Raleigh. Video of Governor Cooper’s remarks and b-roll from the competition is available online. ***NCDOT***  
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3/17/2017: This Week at NCDOT: New Transit Pass and Hurricane Matthew Repairs Update

This Week at NCDOT: New Transit Pass and Hurricane Matthew Repairs Update

Posted 3/17/2017 1:53:55 PM

RALEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the department's weekly newscast. New Transit Pass NC by Train has a new option to help passengers reach their final destination after departing the train along the Raleigh-to-Charlotte rail corridor. Beginning March 18, rail passengers can use a transit pass to travel from the train station to their local destinations. “This new transfer pass will help out NC by Train riders complete their journey using the existing and available transit options offered by our local partners, “ said Paul Worley, director of NCDOT’s Rail Division. “This new program will provide our customers with a seamless option from boarding the train to their next stop.” The transit pass will be available through a partnership with NCDOT’s Rail Division and the following 11 transit systems to help make it easier and more convenient to travel by train in North Carolina: GoRaleigh GoCary GoTriangle GoDurham Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation Greensboro Transit Authority and Higher Education Area Transit High Point Transit System Rowan Transit System Salisbury Transit System Concord Kannapolis Area Transit Charlotte Area Transit System The transit pass is available to travelers on the Piedmont and Carolinian trains at no additional charge. Just request the pass from a conductor while on board the train and present it before boarding a partner bus. The pass is valid for one ride and one transfer during the travel day. For more information about the transit pass visit NCbyTrain.org. Update on Hurricane Matthew Repairs NCDOT has made tremendous progress in meeting Secretary Jim Trogdon’s charge to reduce the number of road closures due to damage from Hurricane Matthew. As of March 17, only 19 roads remain closed. More than 600 roads were closed in central and eastern North Carolina at the height of the storm. The remaining road closures require the replacement of damaged bridges or the installation of large pipes that must be specially ordered. The department is working to reopen these roads as quickly as possible.
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3/13/2017: NC By Train Partners With Local Transit Systems to Connect the Last Mile

NC By Train Partners With Local Transit Systems to Connect the Last Mile

Posted 3/13/2017 8:57:58 AM

RALEIGH – Rail passengers will now be able to reach their local destination through public transportation after getting off the train by using a transit pass, made possible through a partnership between the N.C. Department of Transportation Rail Division and 11 local transit systems along the Raleigh-to-Charlotte rail corridor. “This new transfer pass will help our NC By Train riders complete their journey using the existing and available transit options offered by our local partners,” said Paul Worley, director of NCDOT’s Rail Division. “This new program will provide our customers with a seamless option from boarding the train to their next stop.” Starting March 18, the NC By Train transit pass will be available at no additional charge to passengers on board the Piedmont and Carolinian trains in select cities. Passengers should request the pass from conductors while on the train and present it when boarding the transit partner’s bus. The pass is valid for one ride and one transfer only on the day of travel. “The transit pass will help connect travelers safely and efficiently to their next destination,” said Debbie Collins, director of NCDOT’s Public Transportation Division. “This option also offers a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly transportation alternative that reduces congestion on roadways.” The pass can be used with the following transit partners: GoRaleigh GoCary GoTriangle GoDurham Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation Greensboro Transit Authority and Higher Education Area Transit High Point Transit System Rowan Transit System Salisbury Transit System Concord Kannapolis Area Transit Charlotte Area Transit System NC By Train’s Piedmont and Carolinian trains are sponsored by NCDOT and operated by Amtrak. These trains provide daily service from Raleigh to Charlotte, plus seven additional stops in between.
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