Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH – As the nation continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot more travelers are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend. The AAA is estimating a 60 percent increase in traffic compared to a year ago.
With that in mind, the N.C. Department of Transportation will be shutting down major construction that could affect travelers because of lane closures along interstates, U.S. and key N.C. routes from Friday morning until next Tuesday evening.
There are some exceptions where construction conditions do not allow for the opening of all lanes. That includes projects where highways are being rebuilt or widened, or where a new bridge may be going into place. Construction work that does not impact the travel lanes can take place over the extended weekend.
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. During daytime hours, you can also check on travel conditions by calling 511.
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.
The N.C. Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies have already started their Memorial Day Weekend Click-It or Ticket campaign in all 100 counties. There will be checkpoints at various locations around the state through June 6 looking for vehicle occupants without seat belts, impaired drivers and other violations.
Here are some additional tips for a safer holiday weekend:
• If you are leaving the state, plan ahead by checking on possible face covering rules or other restrictions that may be in place on the way to your destination.
• Leave early to get a head start and remember that Friday and Monday will likely have the most traffic on the roads.
• Avoid distracted driving and pay extra attention to the road and vehicles that are nearby.
• Check ahead for any potential weather issues for the route you are using.