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.
Get Onboard the Santa Train
Tickets are still available for NC By Train's Charlotte to Raleigh Santa Train, featuring carolers, refreshments, and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus. The popular train runs on Saturday, Dec. 3, between Charlotte and Raleigh, with stops on the way. Tickets are limited and are selling quickly, so book early to reserve your seats. Tickets can be purchased online at NCByTrain.org or by calling 800-298-7246.
Governor Pat McCrory unveiled a Future I-87 sign on the U.S. 64/17 corridor during a ceremony in Edenton. This future interstate designation is included in the governor's 25-Year Vision for Transportation in North Carolina and will better connect northeastern North Carolina to the Raleigh and Hampton Roads, Virginia economic centers.
The future interstate designation, along with one for the U.S. 70 corridor, was included in the federal Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act that was signed into law in December. In addition, Governor McCrory also recently announced that the state is seeking federal approval of a future interstate designation for U.S. 264 to Greenville, which is North Carolina's largest metropolitan area currently not served by an interstate.
Hurricane Matthew Recovery Update
At the height of Hurricane Matthew's impact on North Carolina, more than 600 roads were closed. That number is now down to about 350. While the department of transportation has made great progress in reopening roads, it may take several months for all the routes to be repaired. The governor and department remind drivers to heed warning signs and not drive around barricades. Also, drivers should not rely on their GPS. Instead, they should check road condition information on ReadyNC.org.
In an effort to provide relief to residents impacted by Hurricane Matthew, Governor McCrory has directed the Division of Motor Vehicles to temporarily waive certain fees until Dec. 1 for customers in counties affected by the hurricane. Motor vehicle property taxes will still be due during the annual registration renewal.
In addition, the governor established the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund for Hurricane Matthew. Monetary donation to the fund can be made by texting NCRECOVERS to 30306 or by visiting NCDisasterRelief.org. Also, a list of organizations assisting with the North Carolina relief effort can be found at NCvoad.org.