The N.C. Department of Transportation will suspend most construction work on major routes across the state to reduce delays during the busy holiday travel season, but drivers should watch out for continued lane closures that could cause backups around a few highway projects.
Travel lanes will stay open from 6 a.m. Friday, Dec. 22, through 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2, around most construction projects on interstate, U.S. and N.C. highways – with these exceptions:
Vance and Warren counties
- I-85: Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction from U.S. 1 at Henderson to Manson-Drewry Road, and from Oine Road to the Virginia state line, as work continues on a $137 million project to replace bridges and repair the deteriorating road surface on 20 miles of I-85. Between Manson-Drewry and Oine roads, northbound drivers are limited to one lane but southbound drivers have two lanes.
- I-40 Business: All lanes are open during the day. At night, the left lane is closed in each direction near Peters Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem for bridge support work. Also at night, eastbound Business 40 traffic is detoured up the exit ramp, across Peters Creek Parkway, and back down the entrance ramp.
- N.C. 28 is closed for several weeks while road crews clear away the debris from a recent rockslide a mile east of Cable Cove Road, about 13 miles from the Tennessee state line. Drivers will need to detour around the slide using N.C. 143 and N.C. 129.
- I-85 Business: One lane is closed in each direction at the N.C. 8 interchange in Lexington, for a bridge replacement.
Currituck and Dare counties
- U.S. 158: On the Wright Memorial Bridge across Currituck Sound near Kitty Hawk, traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction, using the westbound span, while the eastbound span is closed to refurbish the bridge.
- N.C. 58 is closed in Emerald Isle for the privately funded construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Mallard Drive / Emerald Landing Drive, with traffic detoured via Reed Drive.
- U.S. 70: The eastbound right lane is closed at 7th Street in Hickory for a pipe replacement.
- U.S. 64 Business (Sunset Avenue) in Rocky Mount is closed between Buck Leonard Boulevard and May Drive for a bridge replacement.
- U.S. 441 Business (East Main Street) in Franklin is closed at the Little Tennessee River for a bridge replacement.
For up-to-date travel information at any time:
- ·Call 511. Live operators are available to provide travel assistance on weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., weekends from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and state holidays from 9:15 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
- ·Follow NCDOT on Twitter.
- ·Go online to DriveNC.gov. Use the drop-down menus to search by county or region, or by a specific road.
Travelers are urged to use caution and obey the posted speed limits when traveling through work zones, even if no construction activity is taking place. Law enforcement officers across North Carolina will set up checkpoints and step up patrols to catch drivers who violate traffic laws during the holidays.
Here are more tips for safe driving during the holiday season:
- ·Leave early to get a head start, and travel at non-peak hours if possible, as Wednesday afternoon/evening and Sunday afternoon/evening will be the heaviest traffic congestion periods.
- ·Use alternate routes if possible to avoid traffic congestion.
- ·Allow extra time for your trip, regardless of the route you choose.
- ·To avoid drowsy driving, travel at times you are normally awake and take frequent breaks.
- ·Avoid distracted driving.
- Use your seat belt.