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.
Thanksgiving Travel: Know Before You Go and Save Time, Money
Whether your Thanksgiving travels keep you in state or you are venturing outside of North Carolina, NCDOT wants to make sure you make it to your destination safely, with plenty of time to enjoy your holiday with family and friends. As with all major holidays, NCDOT will put most road construction projects on hold across the state from 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, until midnight, Sunday, Nov. 27. Although most crews will not be working, you may still see some lane closures and traffic shifts. For a list of projects that will still be underway during the holiday, visit ncdot.gov.
As you get ready to hit the road, remember to buckle up -every seat -every time. It's the law. The fine for not using your seatbelt is $179. In addition to buckling up, obey the speed limit or face paying a fine.
If you need to travel for Thanksgiving, but do not want to deal with the hassle of driving, take NC By Train for a simple and stress-free trip on the rails. Travelers now have an additional option to help get them home from the train station without using their car. The NCDOT Rail Division recently partnered with TransLoc, a North Carolina-based transportation technology company, on a pilot program that allows travelers to use the TransLoc app on their smart phones to find nearby transit stations, including rail, or even book an Uber ride within the app to get to their next stop. To book your tickets and learn more about the new app, visit ncbytrain.org.
This week North Carolina got one step closer to adding U.S. 264 from Zebulon to Greenville interstate highway system. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials approved the state's application to add the corridor to the interstate system as Future Interstate 587. The application is now under consideration for final approval by the Federal Highway Administration.
Greenville is the largest city in North Carolina currently not served by an interstate highway. Interstate connectivity plays a key role in business recruitment and retention. This designation would support greater economic development, improve access to East Carolina University and the medical center, and strengthen regional mobility. Creating stronger connections to jobs, education, healthcare and recreation through improved transportation infrastructure is a critical part of Governor McCrory's 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina.
Transportation Crews Make Winter Weather Preparations
Maintenance crews across the state are making sure they are prepared for winter precipitation. Well before the threat of winter weather, crews clean, repair and test their equipment, review snow removal routes and stock up on necessary supplies, such as salt and sand. By doing this early, crews and equipment are ready when called upon to clear snow and ice.
State Accepting Applications for 2017 Bicycle Helmet Initiative
Community organizations are now able to participate in a state program designed to save the lives of children through the distribution of bicycle helmets to low-income families. NCDOT is accepting applications through Friday, Dec. 9 for its Bike Helmet Initiative, which was previously open to government agencies only. Selected applicants may receive up to 100 helmets through the program to distribute during a bicycle safety education program. The helmets will be received by April 30, 2017. Funding for the initiative is made possible through sales of the Share the Road specialty license plate. The program has made thousands of helmets available to children since it launched in 2007. For more information and to download the application, visit the Bike Helmet Initiative website.