DOT: Holiday traffic update

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - The Department of Transportation will do their part in easing traffic delays, as people travel during the holidays.

Most construction projects along interstates, N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended beginning at 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 18, until 9 a.m., Monday, Jan. 4, with one exception:

  • U.S. 17 in Windsor (Bertie County) is reduced to one lane on the Cashie River Bridge due to construction. Traffic is controlled by signals; however, trucks are restricted on this route and detour signs are in place. All motorists are encouraged to use the U.S. 17 Bypass around Windsor to avoid possible delays.

In addition, I-40 is closed at mile marker 2.6, near the Tennessee state line, due to a rockslide that occurred on Sunday, Oct. 25.

A detour has been set up. Motorists traveling west to Tennessee should take I-40 West to I-240 West in Asheville to I-26 West. Follow I-26 West from Asheville to I-81 South in Tennessee, back to I-40. Eastbound motorists will follow the reverse directions.

This detour adds 53 miles. Other alternate routes are available to passenger vehicles, however, they are more likely to be closed or have icy conditions during winter weather. Motorists should check road conditions before traveling these routes.

U.S. 321 near Lenoir in Caldwell County is open following removal of boulders that were loosened during a widening project. NCDOT has requested that the contractor postpone routine blasting work in the area until Jan. 5 to allow U.S. 321 to remain open through the holidays. NCDOT reminds motorists that all businesses and attractions in this area are still accessible during construction.

Two new lanes on N.C. 12 north of Rodanthe are now open to traffic following damage from ocean overwash in November due to a nor'easter. Lane closures will take place after Dec. 29 for a beach renourishment project and to place sandbags near the right of way.

Know before you go by calling 511, the department's free travel information line, or get real-time travel information on line. NCDOT also offers travel information for motorists and ferry passengers on Twitter.

For more information on how to get travel information, visit

NCDOT offers the following driving tips during the holidays:

  • Leave early to get a head start on your drive and travel at non-peak times;
  • Stay alert. Even though workers may not be present in the majority of work zones, drivers may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts;
  • Be patient and obey the posted speed limit. The penalty for speeding through a marked work zone is $250; and
  • Use alternate routes, when possible, to avoid traffic congestion.