RALEIGH – Although the public is being asked to stay close to home and restrict traveling in North Carolina over the upcoming holiday period because of the continual increase in COVID-19 cases, for those who do hit the road, the N.C. Department of Transportation will try to assist them on their trips.
The department is not allowing any lane closures on projects along interstates, U.S. and key N.C. routes from this Friday morning (Dec. 18) until the evening of the Tuesday after Christmas (Dec. 29). Lanes will also be kept open from 7 a.m. on Dec. 31 until 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5.
There are some exceptions where construction conditions make it unsafe to open all lanes, such as where highways are being rebuilt or widened, or where a new bridge may be going in place. And construction work that does not affect the travel lanes can take place during those periods.
Travel updates on construction projects and incidents such as a crash that can affect a trip can be found 24 hours a day by going to DriveNC.gov. It provides the status of roads by route, county or region.
As always, motorists are urged to pay extra attention and use caution through the extended holiday period. Make sure all vehicle occupants are wearing seat belts, don’t drive impaired, and obey speed limit restrictions, even in work zones when no construction activity is taking place.
Here are some additional tips for safer holidays:
• Follow the health safety guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, including using face masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, avoiding large crowds, and observing social distancing.
• If you are leaving the state, plan ahead by checking on any travel restrictions or possible quarantine orders for your destination.
• Leave early to get a head start, and remember that Dec. 24, Dec. 27 and Jan. 3 will likely have the most traffic on the roads.
• Avoid distracted driving and pay extra attention when on the road and to vehicles that are nearby.
• Check ahead on any potential weather issues for the route you are using. The annual holiday “Booze It and Lose It’ campaign will have law enforcement in all 100 counties watching out for drivers violating speeding, drunk driving and seat belt laws.
For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.