News Releases

5/28/2015: Lane Shifts Begin Tonight for I-40 West in Fortify Work Zone

Lane Shifts Begin Tonight for I-40 West in Fortify Work Zone

Posted 5/28/2015 1:13:29 PM

RALEIGH – Construction crews on the Fortify I-40/440 rebuild project tonight will begin shifting lanes on I-40 West at the Lake Wheeler Road exit, weather permitting. Traffic will be reduced to two lanes at 9 p.m. and down to one lane about 11 p.m. using temporary traffic control with assistance from local law enforcement. The lane closures will allow crews to safely install pavement markings and put traffic onto the widened and strengthened outside shoulder that will serve as a travel lane. Traffic will be back in its usual three-lane capacity by 5 a.m., using the shoulder and the two outside lanes.   It is expected to take seven nights of work to get the westbound shift complete to U.S. 1/64 in Cary. Then work will switch to the I-40 East side, with the same shift taking place from U.S. 1/64 back to Lake Wheeler Road over the following seven nights.   The shift will allow crews to begin rebuilding the median and inside lanes in both directions in that section of I-40. NCDOT reminds drivers to “know before you go” and visit FortifyNC.com for the latest project information, live traffic updates, and important resources. More significant changes will be coming in July in the rest of the work zone between Lake Wheeler Road and the I-40/440 split. There will be additional lane shifts and lane reductions, including converting the four and five-lane sections of the interstate to three lanes in both directions. Eventually the entire 8.5-mile work zone will have traffic in a three-lane pattern in both directions. That three-lane capacity is expected to remain in effect until the entire new roadway opens in the fall of 2016. The N.C. Department of Transportation also reminds drivers to use caution, watch for construction activity, and obey the reduced speed limit in the work zone for their safety, as well as the safety of passengers, other motorists and the crews working on highway. Project Background The Fortify project involves the removal and replacement of the highway surface and substructure along 11.5 miles of interstate on I-40 and I-440. A chemical reaction in the 40-year-old substructure of the roadway is causing it to crumble, and in turn, damaging the road surface. That required constant repairs and led to concerns of ongoing major travel disruptions along one of the state’s busiest stretches of highway. The I-440 section of the project is almost finished, with three lanes of what is essentially a brand new highway now open in both directions. *** NCDOT ***
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5/22/2015: This Week at NCDOT: Traffic info for your summer travel from the mountains to the coast, Fortify update, Memorial Day Click it or Ticket Campaign begins and Wi-Fi now available on Piedmont train

This Week at NCDOT: Traffic info for your summer travel from the mountains to the coast, Fortify update, Memorial Day Click it or Ticket Campaign begins and Wi-Fi now available on Piedmont train

Posted 5/22/2015 2:33:52 PM

RALEIGH — The following are highlights from the past week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. Several of the below stories are also featured in our weekly newscast, NCDOT Now, which can be viewed by clicking here.  Measures in Place to Help Alleviate OBX Summer Weekend Traffic With visitors coming and going to the Outer Banks, traffic in Currituck and Dare counties along U.S. 158 and N.C. 168 can get congested on weekends in the summer. NCDOT has worked with local municipalities and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau to implement measures to alleviate congestion during the summer travel season.  Ferry Travel Ferry Division Seeks Hatteras 'Early Birds' After Switch To Summer Schedule Taking a ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands this summer? Remember that the early bird catches the ferry. Consider going early in the day to avoid wait times. Ferry Division Makes Summer Schedule Changes The North Carolina Ferry Division is beefing up its schedule on Pamlico Sound and adjusting times on its Hatteras Inlet route to better serve residents and visitors during the busy summer season. Wilmington Area Lane closures on N.C. 211 in Brunswick County over Honey Island Swamp will be in place until the end of June. Third Street in downtown Wilmington is closed for a bridge replacement located between Campbell Street and Brunswick Street, with alternate routes available for this heavily-traveled area. In addition, some traffic shifts will be in place on the U.S. 17/74/76 Causeway project later this summer.  Mountain Travel Work continues on the widening of U.S. 321 through Blowing Rock. No traffic stops will take place until later this month; however, motorists can expect temporary lane shifts just south of Tanger Outlets.  I-40 Lane Reduction in Haywood County Starting June 10, traffic will be shifted and one lane closed in each direction between mile markers six and eight of I-40 in Haywood County for about three weeks. The westbound on-ramp at Exit 7 to access the Pisgah National Forest is closed. Detour signs are in place to help you access the forest. The North Carolina Welcome Center just beyond the construction area will remain accessible. Fortify  If your summer travels require you to take I-40 through the Triangle, be sure to plan ahead and keep an eye out for alternate routes, so you don’t get stuck in traffic on the Fortify project. Signs have been placed in several locations to help motorists avoid going through the work zone by using alternate routes. Click it or Ticket The Memorial Day “Click It or Ticket” campaign runs through the holiday weekend, ending on May 31.  Law enforcement officers will be out day and night enforcing “Click It or Ticket” for drivers and passengers who fail to buckle up.  NCDOT Launches Wi-Fi on Piedmont Train Service On May 25, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Piedmont train, NCDOT’s Rail Division will launch its new Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi Service. The addition of Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi will ensure complete wireless internet services to passengers traveling between Raleigh and Charlotte. The Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi service will allow passengers non-stop access to surf the web, check and respond to email, engage in social media and stay connected while traveling on the 174-mile corridor. For more information on NCDOT Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 707-2660. ***NCDOT***
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5/22/2015: Ahead of Fortify, Raleigh Businesses Offering Workers 'Smarter Commuting' Options

Ahead of Fortify, Raleigh Businesses Offering Workers 'Smarter Commuting' Options

Posted 5/22/2015 11:30:25 AM

Raleigh – As crews get closer to shifting lanes on Interstate 40 in the Fortify I-40/440 work zone in Raleigh, some local businesses are helping their employees avoid the potential impact on their workday. "A number of the region’s leading companies are committed to promoting travel options to improve their employees’ quality of life – including flexible work schedules, transit passes and telework from home,” said Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance. Among those companies, Milazzo says, are Cisco Systems, Citrix, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, NetApp, Quintiles and Red Hat, which last year began offering employees an option to trade in their parking passes for GoPasses – an employer investment that allows workers to travel on area buses for free.   "We saw Fortify coming and wanted to help Red Hatters who had concerns with their travel options," Red Hat Vice President and Treasurer Paul Argiry said. "By being proactive, our hope was to help alleviate traffic concerns within the Triangle.” The State Employees Credit Union is also providing GoPass to its more than 1,400 Triangle employees. It moved some of its workers to offices in downtown Raleigh late last year, and because of that, it teamed up with GoTriangle to find alternative ways of getting to work, whether it be transit, carpooling, biking or even walking to work. “We have seen many of our employees taking advantage of these opportunities and believing in the power behind it – the smarter commuting, said Amber Stroupe, a human resources specialist with SECU. Approximately 120,000 motorists travel on I-40 through the Fortify work zone each day, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation wants to reduce traffic in the area. Beginning this summer, crews will shift lanes, and the entire 8.5-mile stretch will be reduced to three lanes until work is complete in late 2016. During peak travel times, commutes are expected to increase by an average of 30 minutes each way. With more than 100 employer outreach events over the past year, NCDOT has been working with GoTriangle to help reduce congestion by getting 30,000 vehicles off the road. Employers can find out more about alternative commuting options at FortifyNC.com. As the largest employer in Wake County with more than 24,000 workers, the State of North Carolina is also proactively helping keep cars away from the Fortify work zone, says Neal Alexander, director of the Office of State Human Resources. Late last year, the state began notifying its employees about ways to minimize the traffic challenges ahead.   It is supporting a menu of options for employees, including alternate work sites, flexible schedules and telecommuting where possible as well as urging workers to consider alternate routes and using alternative forms of transportation. “Although there is no single answer on how each agency and state employee should address the challenge, there are a variety of options to consider to ensure we continue to provide the highest level of service to our citizens,” Alexander said. Project Update Striping continues on I-440 East next week, with crews re-opening a third lane, putting the road at full capacity about the middle of the week. Final paving will continue at night on the eastbound side and should be finished by mid- to late June, weather permitting. Traffic shifts will begin in early June on the section on I-40 West from Lake Wheeler Road to the U.S. 1 bridge in Cary.  Shortly after the westbound shift is complete, the eastbound side will begin shifting from U.S. 1 to Lake Wheeler Road. There will be no lane closures during the Memorial Day Weekend. ***NCDOT***
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5/21/2015: NCDOT Launches Wi-Fi on Piedmont Train Service on May 25

NCDOT Launches Wi-Fi on Piedmont Train Service on May 25

Posted 5/21/2015 12:52:44 PM

Raleigh – On May 25, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Piedmont train, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Rail Division will launch its new Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi Service. The addition of complimentary Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi will ensure complete wireless internet services to passengers traveling between Raleigh and Charlotte. The Piedmont Connect Wi-Fi service will allow passengers non-stop access to surf the web, check and respond to email, engage in social media and stay connected while traveling on the 174-mile corridor. “Railroads are an important part of our national transportation system, and ensuring passenger safety, efficiency and connectivity on the Piedmont corridor will lead to economic opportunities for the regions of Raleigh and Charlotte and the cities, towns and communities in between,” said Paul Worley, NCDOT Rail Director. “We see a growing trend in ridership on regional trains like the Piedmont, with over 300 passengers a day. We believe by deploying new Wi-Fi services we can increase passenger satisfaction and attract new customers.” The Carolinian train, also supported by NCDOT, already features Wi-Fi service.  NCDOT is modernizing the Piedmont corridor through a series of projects and enhancements known as the Piedmont Improvement Program. The focus of PIP is to make train travel safer, more reliable and better connected. The addition of complimentary Wi-Fi as a standard service on Piedmont trains will enhance the overall quality of experience for passengers, potentially increase ridership due to the availability of Wi-Fi and provide extra layers of railway safety in the future by supporting train control and monitoring systems. This Wi-Fi service provider is ViaSat Managed Wi-Fi Services of Carlsbad, California. ViaSat’s system includes complete coverage of the Piedmont corridor, optimizing Wi-Fi and internet availability to passengers.  
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5/18/2015: Memorial Day "Click It or Ticket" Enforcement and Education Campaign Kicks Off

Memorial Day "Click It or Ticket" Enforcement and Education Campaign Kicks Off

Posted 5/18/2015 12:25:06 PM

Greensboro – The Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) launched its Memorial Day “Click It or Ticket” education and enforcement campaign this morning. It runs through the Memorial Day holiday weekend, ending on May 31.   The kickoff event was held at the UNC-Greensboro campus, as GHSP Director Don Nail, Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, and UNCG Chief of Police James Herring were the featured speakers.  The event was held in Guilford County as incentive to increase seat belt usage in the area. The county-wide driver and passenger seat belt usage rate in the 2014 seat belt survey was 88.4 percent, two points below the statewide average.   That seat belt survey shows usage has been increasing statewide, with a 90.6 percent compliance by drivers and passengers, compared to 88.6 percent the previous year.   Since its inception 22 years ago, the “Click It or Ticket” program has increased driver seat belt awareness and usage rates and reduced fatalities across North Carolina. Nearly every law enforcement agency in the state participates in the initiative and it is one of the most intensive law enforcement efforts of its kind. “As we launch the “Click It or Ticket” Memorial Day campaign today it is important that we remind those on North Carolina roads that it is the law to wear your seat belt,” said Nail. “The law applies to all passengers in the vehicle.  It doesn’t matter where you sit, you must remember to buckle up, saving yourself from receiving a fine of up to $161 and even your life.  We have to remind ourselves it is “Every Seat, Every Time.”  Law enforcement officers will be out day and night enforcing “Click It or Ticket” for drivers and passengers who fail to buckle up. The N.C. Department of Transportation, GHSP and law enforcement agencies across North Carolina have a goal of 100 percent seat belt use among all vehicle occupants.  For additional information, please visit ClickItorTicket.org. ***NCDOT***
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