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​​​​​​​This Week at NCDOT: Employees Killed Remembered, Tree of Life, VIP Trip on New Bridge




​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.

Rest Area Ceremony for NCDOT Employees Killed

The names of three NCDOT employees killed on the job many years ago are now memorialized at the state’s rest areas. 

This week, Division 4 held a ceremony at a rest area east of Raleigh to honor three employees who died in a crash in 1975 on a rural highway outside Rocky Mount. The three employees were in a dump truck and returning from lunch when they collided with a tractor-trailer in Nash County. 

The legacy of their deaths had faded over time – and until now, their names were missing on the memorial that is displayed at every rest area. The memorial, now with 116 names, honors NCDOT employees who were killed in the line of duty. 

Tree of Life

Today, on the State Capital grounds, you will find a Fraser Fir tree adorned with red, white, and blue ornaments. These ornaments represent the 1,798 people killed last year in North Carolina traffic crashes. 

The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program and North Carolina Mothers Against Drunk Driving recently hosted the annual Tree of Life candlelight vigil. The red lights and ornaments are for those killed by substance impaired drivers. The three blue bulbs are for fallen law enforcement officers and the 1,324 white decorations represent all other traffic fatalities. 

The Tree of Life will remain on the State Capital Grounds throughout the holiday season.

103-Year-Old Harkers Island Resident Gets VIP Trip Across New Bridge

Ahead of the new Harkers Island Bridge opening Down East, NCDOT took one of the town’s own on a special ride. 

Earlier this week, NCDOT drove 103-year-old Houston Salter across the new structure – ensuring he would be the first in the community. Salter has lived on Harkers Island his entire life – before there was a bridge connecting it to the mainland. 

​The new bridge is opening to drivers ahead of a ceremony scheduled for next week.​


12/8/2023 9:59 AM