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This Week at NCDOT: 2017 Solar Eclipse and Speed Limits Changes for the Birds at Manns Harbor

Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the department's weekly newscast.

2017 Solar Eclipse

On Monday, Aug. 21, all of the continental U.S. will experience an eclipse of the sun for the first time in 99 years. A total solar eclipse will be visible within a path 70 miles wide that stretches across 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina. Large numbers of people are expected to make their way toward the path of the total eclipse in North Carolina and points south. There could be significant traffic impacts from congestion before and after the event. Safe driving behavior before, during and after the eclipse is important. The N.C. Department of Transportation encourages travelers to:

View more safety tips online at

Speed Limit Changes for the Birds

With the annual purple martin roost reaching its mid-summer peak in Manns Harbor, NCDOT has lowered speed limits at dusk and dawn on the William B. Umstead Bridge, locally known as the Old Manns Harbor Bridge. From mid-July through August, the west end of the bridge on Croatan Sound becomes home to more than 100,000 purple martins as they prepare for their annual migration to Brazil. The birds roost under the bridge at night, departing at dawn to feed and returning at sunset. The flock is so large during its peak that it can be seen on Doppler radar. For more information about NCDOT Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 707-2660. Additional news stories from throughout the week can be found on


2/19/2018 7:46 AM