Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in the department's weekly newscast N.C. Transportation Now.
September is North Carolina Preparedness Month
Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed September as North Carolina Preparedness Month. Recent tropical systems serve as a good reminder for citizens to plan ahead and put safety first.
Whether it is a hurricane, flood, tornado, fire or winter storm, a natural disaster can strike at any time. That is why the governor is reminding citizens to have simple emergency plans and basic supplies in place to help them survive storms and recover faster.
Governor McCrory Proclaims September as Safe to School Month
Governor McCrory has also proclaimed September as Safe to School Month. Since 1999, 13 North Carolina children have been struck and killed while getting on or off a stopped school bus. There have been more than 2,500 convictions statewide for failure to stop for a stopped school bus in the last five years, and in 2015 alone, there were nearly 2,300 convictions for speeding in a school zone.
It is critical for every driver to stay alert, especially when travelling in school zones and near school buses. Doing so will drastically decrease the fatalities and injuries involving young people on our roadways.
State Seeking Interstate Designation for U.S. 264
North Carolina is seeking federal approval to designate U.S. 264 as a future interstate from the U.S. 264/64 split in Zebulon to Greenville. Greenville is the state's largest metropolitan area currently not served by an interstate. Receiving this designation for U.S. 264 would promote greater economic development and improve accessibility to the university, medical center and surrounding communities in support of Governor McCrory's 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina.
State transportation officials will submit an application by Sept. 16 to the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. These groups will consider the application and cooperatively make a decision on the designation. That decision is expected by the end of the year.
Earlier this year, North Carolina gained two future interstate designations: I-42 for the U.S. 70 Corridor between I-40 and Morehead City and I-87 for U.S. 64/17 between Raleigh and the Virginia state line. The new request begins where Future I-87 splits from U.S. 264.
Litter Sweep Campaign Begins Sept. 17
The department's annual Fall Litter Sweep campaign gets under way on Saturday, Sept. 17, and lasts through Saturday, Oct. 1. Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, Department of Transportation employees, community service workers, local government agencies, community leaders, and civic and community organizations, as well as many others will partner together to clean litter-prone highways.
Litter sweeps are held twice a year, in the spring and fall. Last year's Litter Sweep removed nearly 850,000 pounds of litter from North Carolina highways. Information on how to get involved is available here.
Additionally, the N.C. Department of Public Safety will sponsor a Litter Free NC enforcement initiative on Oct. 5.