RALEIGH - With one of the busiest holiday travel weekends coming up, motorists
should be ready for heavy traffic on many of the major roads in the Triangle on
Wednesday. One of the locations that
sees some of the worst slowdowns and backups is westbound I-40 near Chapel
The interstate goes down to two lanes west of exit 270 (U.S. 15/501),
and in recent years that has caused major congestion between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
going back as far as exit 278 (N.C. 55), a distance of eight miles.
If drivers are heading as far west as Hillsborough and points beyond,
a good alternative to get around that traffic jam is to exit I-40 at the
westbound Durham Freeway (exit 279), go to the end of the Freeway at I-85 west,
and return to I-40 at its merger with I-85.
Other major roads will also see heavy traffic throughout the day and
the NCDOT urges motorists to use caution and to plan for trips to take a little
longer than they would in a non-holiday period.
Before starting their trip, drivers can check on the status of the
roads they plan to use by going to the NCDOT travel website, and
getting updates by region, route or county using drop-down menus. The same
information can be checked by mobile phone by dialing 511 and following the
Drivers should also be aware that law enforcement across the state is
taking part in the annual Thanksgiving "Click It or Ticket" campaign, stepping up efforts
through Sunday, Dec. 1 to enforce the state's seat belt law.
The N.C. Highway Patrol is also participating in the "I-40
Challenge." It calls for a state trooper to be assigned for every 20 miles
of the interstate from Wilmington to Barstow, Calif., a distance of 2,555 miles,
including 421 miles in North Carolina. N.C. troopers are taking part on
Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. and on Sunday between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., the
two busiest travel days of the holiday weekend.