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.
NCDOT Suspends Most Highway Construction Over Labor Day Weekend
To help ease travel over the holiday weekend, the department is suspending most construction along interstate, U.S. and N.C. routes Wednesday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 5. Drivers should still be aware that they may encounter narrowed lanes or traffic shifts even when work is not taking place, and that work zone speed limits are still in effect.
In addition, the Governor's Highway Safety Program's Labor Day Booze It & Lose It campaign will continue through the holiday weekend to help prevent drunk driving. During last year's campaign, state and local law enforcement arrested 3,523 impaired drivers through more than 13,500 sobriety checkpoints across the state.
Visit BeSmarterThanThat.com for help accessing safe and smart alternatives to drinking and driving.
NCDOT Announces Key Projects to Be Included in Draft 10-Year Transportation Plan
The department is also moving forward with plans for future construction projects that will strengthen North Carolina's transportation network and provide better connections to critical destinations.
Transportation improvements are many years in the making, and every two years NCDOT develops an updated schedule of projects planned for the next decade using a combination of data and local input.
This process for prioritizing transportation projects was implemented through the Strategic Transportation Investments law signed by Governor Pat McCrory in 2013 to ensure that transportation decisions are based on need -not politics or other factors.
The process evaluates projects for inclusion in its 10-year plan on three levels: statewide, regional and local/division.
The statewide and regional projects the department anticipates funding in the next plan have already been released and are available at NCDOT.gov/STI. The list of division-level projects will be available later this year, and a draft version of the new 10-year plan for the years 2018 through 2027 will be released in January.
Cold Storage Facility at the Port of Wilmington Receives Its First Shipment
The Port of Wilmington reached another important milestone when the new cold storage facility that recently opened there received its first shipment.
The 101,000 square-foot facility, which is operated by USA InvestCo, is located directly on the port terminal and will help support agriculture and other critical North Carolina industries. It not only saves farmers time and money, but it also provides jobs and economic benefit to the state and gives the Port of Wilmington a competitive advantage.
This is the latest in a series of recent improvements that have been made at North Carolina's ports to expand its capabilities. Port activities currently support 76,000 jobs statewide and contribute $700 million each year in state and local tax revenues.
For more information about N.C. Transportation Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 707-2660. Additional news stories from throughout the week can be found on NCDOT.gov.