Though traffic is expected to be lighter than usual for the Thanksgiving holiday due to COVID-19, the N.C. Department of Transportation wants to assist drivers who are traveling by suspending most construction activity along its major highways.
The work shutdown along interstates, U.S. and key N.C. routes is expected to go from Tuesday morning through the evening of Monday, Nov. 30.
There are some exceptions where construction conditions make it unsafe to open all lanes. Work that does not impact travel lanes can continue for some projects.
Drivers can check on the status of the highways they plan to use by going to DriveNC.gov. It provides the status of roads by route, county or region and is updated 24 hours a day.
Motorists are urged to be cautious through the extended weekend and obey posted speed limits, even in work zones where no construction activity is taking place.
Here are some additional safety tips for the holiday weekend:
Follow health safety guidance from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, including using face masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer and observing social distancing;
Plan ahead by checking on any travel restrictions or possible quarantine orders for your destination;
Leave early to get a head start. Roadways are traditionally busiest after Wednesday morning and then again on Sunday;
Avoid distracted driving and pay extra attention to the roadway and vehicles that are nearby;
If you will be drinking alcohol, do not drive;
All drivers and passengers need to wear their seat belts.
The annual Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign is already underway, with law enforcement in all 100 counties watching out for drivers violating speeding, drunk driving and seat belt laws. In 2019, eight people died and 22 others were seriously injured during Thanksgiving week while not wearing a seat belt.
Feature photo by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.