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.
U.S. 421 Reopening
The Department of Transportation has reopened a key route to and from the Wilmington area following severe damage from Hurricane Florence. U.S. 421, which runs parallel to Interstate 40 in southeastern North Carolina, received the most damage of any state road when the storm hit in September.
Knowing the critical need to quickly restore traffic on this route, NCDOT installed a temporary bridge on one side of the road, with a single lane in each direction. This allows drivers to get through the area while planning and construction of two new bridges at the site takes place.
Rest Area Rooftop Garden
Beginning next spring, colorful blossoms from new plantings will decorate the state’s only rest area with a rooftop garden in Randolph County.
A unique partnership between the department and a group of master gardeners from the Randolph County Cooperative Extension Service made it possible this fall to revitalize the garden. It sits on top of the visitor center at the rest area that opened in 2010 on I-73/74 South near Seagrove.
“There are numerous benefits of a green roof. The first is stormwater absorption so there’s less stormwater runoff in a rain event,” said Charles Hardin with the Randolph County Master Gardener Group. “The second reason for having a green roof would be insulation. You end up with a super insulated building, much better insulated than a normal roof structure would be so there’s energy savings involved in that.”
Volunteers planted varieties of plants resistant to drought and extreme heat and cold. The garden will bloom from late spring through the fall every year.
NC A&T Championship Sign
On Nov. 23, Governor Cooper, NC Board of Transportation Chairman Mike Fox, Board Member Andy Perkins and NC A&T Chancellor Harold Martin unveiled the sign honoring the school’s 2017 Historically Black Colleges and Universities football national championship. The signs were approved by the Board of Transportation.
Eight signs will be posted along roadways. This marks the team’s second title in three seasons in this division.