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This Week at NCDOT: New Technology, First Responder Training, Rail Station Upgrades


RA​LEIGH – 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.

NCDOT Invests in New Technology

NCDOT employees across the state will soon receive hard hats equipped with new technology they’ve never had before. Personal protective equipment, including hard hats are the first line of defense to keep employees safe. 

Recently, the department invested in a pilot program to test a new kind of hard hat, which has a chin strap and the option to provide additional PPE. This is the first time NCDOT will switch the type of hard hat used in the past 40 years. 

“Having your company willing to try things – that’s important to me," Transportation Supervisor II Robert Plyler said. Plyer was part of the pilot program.

“Safety is an evolving field. It continues to change," Robin Barfield, NCDOT's Director of Safety and Risk Management said. "It continues to be dynamic and the more we embrace the changes, and present them to our folks, both through our educational efforts and through pilot programs, such as this, it makes people feel really good that we care about them.”  

IMAP and First Responder Training

In an effort to respond better to major traffic incidents, NCDOT hosted a training event that brought first responders together in Garner. The scenario included law enforcement, fire, EMS, an air ambulance, tow companies and NCDOT’s incident management assistance patrol, or IMAP. The purpose is to keep first responders prepared for real-life events, as supporting them and keeping motorists safe remain the department’s top priorities. 

As a reminder, whether it be red and blue or amber-colored flashing lights, drivers are required by law to move over when possible or slow down.

Gastonia Rail Station Upgrades

Accessibility improvements are being celebrated at the Gastonia rail station. The $3.2 million project includes construction of a new platform, plus updates to the restroom, aiting room and parking lot. 

From the station, the Amtrak Crescent train travels between New York and New Orleans. To book your next trip, visit


4/6/2023 9:03 AM