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.
New State Transportation Map Available
Now is the time to get yourself a new North Carolina State Transportation Map. The cover of the new map features some of North Carolina’s most scenic views, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Greensboro skyline and Sunset Beach.
First published in 1916 and updated every two years, the state map is NCDOT’s most popular publication, with 1 million copies having been printed this year. North Carolina has one of the largest highway systems in the nation and the new map details the more than 81,000 miles of state-maintained roads.
The state map is available for free at any of the state’s
58 rest areas,
nine welcome centers and NCDOT offices. It can also be ordered online at
Umstead Bridge Speed Limit Lowered for Birds
The annual summer purple martin roost is underway on the Croatan Sound, and that means drivers are slowing down for the birds. Through the end of the month, the west end of the William B. Umstead Bridge becomes home to as many as 100,000 purple martins as they prepare for their annual migration to Brazil.
“We used to have up to 30,000 being (killed)... because people won’t slow down," Gail Hutchinson with the Coastal Carolina Purple Martin Society said. "Now we’re down. Last week when I came here there were only five or six that were.”
To protect the birds and motorists, the
department has temporarily lowered the speed limit from 55 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour on the bridge. The reduced speed limit is put in place at dawn when the birds depart from the bridge to feed and again at dusk when they return to the bridge to roost.