The N.C. Department of Transportation is suspending most road construction projects over July Fourth weekend to help ease highway congestion over the holiday.
Where possible, lanes that have been closed for construction on interstates or U.S. or N.C. highways will be opened from the morning of Thursday, July 1 through the evening of Tuesday, July 6.
Exceptions will include bridges being replaced and other long-term lane construction that cannot be temporarily removed.
In addition, highway work that does not impact travel can still be allowed to take place over the six-day period.
The heaviest traffic is expected Monday, especially on interstates, so people should plan accordingly.
The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s Fourth of July Booze It & Lose it campaign, called ‘Operation Firecracker’ will be in force during the holiday weekend, targeting impaired drivers. Law enforcement agencies will conduct sobriety checkpoint in all 100 counties to help keep the roads safe.
So far in 2021, 145 people have died in alcohol- and drug-related crashes in North Carolina.
As always, motorists are urged to pay extra attention and use caution when traveling. 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.
Before traveling, people can check the status of their route at DriveNC.gov or call 511 during the daytime.
Some other safety tips include:
Leave early. Travel at non-peak hours and use alternative routes to avoid the heaviest traffic congestion.
Stay alert. Even when highway work is paused, you may encounter narrowed lanes, shifts in traffic and lower speed limits through work zones.
Don’t drive drowsy. For extended drives, take frequent breaks to remain alert.
Don’t drive distracted. When drivers are not focused on the road, they react slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in a crash.
Feature photo by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.