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This Week at NCDOT: Eclipse Preparations and 2017 Statewide Roadeo

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.

Eclipse Preparations Underway

Upwards of one million people are expected to travel to and through North Carolina for Monday's solar eclipse, and NCDOT is working to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Seven counties in the far west -Cherokee, Graham, Clay, Swain, Macon, Jackson, and Transylvania -are in the path of totality and will experience very high traffic volumes.

The department has placed 42 new message boards, three new CCTV cameras, and four additional State Farm Safety Patrol trucks in the mountains area, and has suspended maintenance work in most mountain counties.

Many DMV offices will be closed in the area Monday as well. For an up to date listing of closures, please visit NCDOT's eclipse webpage.

In terms of traveling around the area, locals should treat Monday almost like a snow day. Road conditions will be fine, but unprecedented traffic volumes, especially Monday afternoon and evening, will make it difficult to even run local errands, or otherwise get around, even for the work commute. So residents in the area should try to get those errands done over the weekend and if they can, stay off the roads on Monday. If they do have to go out, they need to anticipate needing extra time for those trips.

2017 Statewide Equipment Operators Roadeo

The most skilled heavy equipment operators in NCDOT competed in the Annual Statewide Equipment Operators Roadeo on August 3rd at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Contenders were tested in a variety of difficult situations, including backing up, maneuvering around obstacles, picking up objects, locating safety docks, and other challenges that mirror real-world conditions.

The Roadeo helps NCDOT's workers advance their skills, while emphasizing the importance of safety when operating heavy equipment.

Division 11, in the Northwest corner of the State, came in as statewide champions. The six individual winners, along with the six runners-up, will advance to the Southeastern Regional Roadeo in Tennessee next month.

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 NCDOT.gov

***NCDOT***

2/19/2018 7:46 AM