NC DOT

flowers,
NC DOT

When it comes to deciding on the best roadside blooms, North Carolina has a lot of options to choose from. Each year, the N.C. Department Of Transportation Wildflower Awards are given to the most eye-popping flower beds across the state and to the division with the best overall wildflower program. On Wednesday in Raleigh, Governor Pat McCrory and NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata announced the 2012 winners and recognized the contributions of two individuals – former Governor Jim Martin and former First Lady Dottie Martin – for their contribution to the Wildflower Program.

Chicamacomico Ferry
NC DOT

A bi-partisan group of state lawmakers has introduced a bill that would allow for sponsorship of ferry lines along the North Carolina coast.

Last year the state’s seven ferry lines ran a deficit of more than $30 million. The ferry system is consistently in the red, and fuel costs are only making it worse. Leaders have discussed raising fares, but a new bill would avoid that by seeking about $4 million in sponsorship from large corporations. Think the Pepsi-Cola line instead of Hatteras-Ocracoke.

New DACA drivr's license
NCDOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has made an about face and is abandoning its controversial decision to add a bold pink stripe across the top of new driver licenses for young immigrants.  A news release issued Thursday afternoon by the state DOT confirms that the Division of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing driver licenses on Monday, March 25, 2013 for immigrants qualifying under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  But the attached ‘final’ image of the driver license no longer has the pink stripe or the words ‘No Lawful Status’ printed in large type.

North Carolina is among 33 states that face penalties for not complying with federal regulations designed to crack down on drunken drivers. 

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory took on a major state issue following a meeting Tuesday with several North Carolina mayors.   McCrory's meeting with members of the Metro Mayors Coalition addressed issues that are critical to cities and towns trying to cope with sequestration, transportation issues and taxation.  The Governor also answered questions on a hot legislative issue.  He disagrees with immigrants' advocates who say pink driver's licenses are no more than a scarlet letter.

North Carolina driver's license
NCDOT

Some state House Democrats are speaking out against a move to create pink driver's licenses to identify young immigrants.  House Bill 184 would prohibit the state Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing the licenses to young people who are legally in this country under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  The proposed licenses would have a pink strip at the top and the phras

The Christmas and New Year holiday travel season means big business for the nation’s airports.  A report by N-C State and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education shows just how big aviation is in this state. 

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials will find out this morning if the Nor'easter that skirted the Outer Banks yesterday added to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. NC 12 was washed out in several places and covered with sand in others. There was also damage to the tension cables on Bonner Bridge. Dara Demi works for the DOT. She says repairs could take several weeks.

Some Triangle bus riders won't be slowed by heavy traffic thanks to a pilot program starting today. 

Gurnal Scott: The Bus on Shoulder System, or BOSS, is up and running in 12 other states. Triangle Transit is working with the state DOT to find the best way to keep buses moving when traffic on a section of I-40 in Durham County slows down or stops.

Brad Schultz:  One of the things that frustrates transit riders the most is delays in traffic and when they cannot get to their location on time.

The Army Corps of Engineers says it will begin dredging the Hatteras Inlet channel on Saturday, and not a moment too soon for ferry passengers. Service on the Hatteras-Ocracoke route has been suspended several times since the weekend. Lucy Wallace is with the North Carolina Ferry Division.

State officials are asking for public input as they prepare a statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan.

Jeff Tiberii: There are more than 3-thousand miles of existing bike routes in North Carolina. Officials at the Department of Transportation want to add better signage, as well as a useful website with maps of the trails. Julia Casadonte says the state last updated the plan 15 years ago. She notes the state's population has grown significantly during that time.

A warm, mild winter so far may help driving conditions later in the year. The state has put aside about 50 million dollars to take care of winter weather conditions. But the Department of Transportation has only spent about eight million on maintaining roads so far this winter. Steve Abbott is a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Drivers of electric vehicles in the Triangle and Triad will be able to take advantage of new charging stations in Alamance County. There are two on either side of I-40-I-85, at a rest area near Burlington. Julia Casadonte is a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

Julia Casadonte: Part of the idea of establishing this infrastructure is to make people more comfortable driving electric vehicles cuz people have to be confident they can be charged and remain charged and make sure they're not stranded anywhere.

Engineers from the state DOT meet with federal wildlife officials this afternoon to consider options for repairing Highway 12 on the Outer Banks. Storm surge from Hurricane Irene breached the highway in several spots on Hatteras Island. The options include beach re-nourishment, creating bridges above the existing road, or bridges that re-route the highway. But at issue in today's meeting is how the options might affect the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Beth Smyre  is the DOT planning engineer who oversees the project.

Hurricane damaged Highway 12 on Hatteras Island is the subject of two public workshops this week. The only road along parts of the Outer Banks was breached in several places by Hurricane Irene in August. Traffic is rolling again on temporary fixes, but state officials want to move forward with permanent repairs. Greer Beatty works for North Carolina's Department of Transportation.

Interstate 95 map
i95highway.com

State transportation officials are looking at ways of raising revenue to modernize Interstate 95. One thing they're looking at is tolling the highway. That's being considered up and down the coast. Greer Beaty with the Department of Transportation says a large-scale study of I-95 started early last year. She says there are a number of things to consider.

The State Department of Transportation has been working on a high speed rail proposal for downtown Raleigh for several years.  Today the public is invited to see an updated plan at the Raleigh convention Center. 

State officials plan to install a temporary bridge on Hatteras Island's North Carolina Highway 12. Hurricane Irene caused a number of breaches along the road, and the structure will be erected across the largest such impasse. Greer Beatty is a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Greer Beatty: "We're bringing in a temporary bridge, we've already ordered it. It's being shipped right now in trucks, it'll take about 35 truckloads to get all of it here, and we'll get it assembled and put it into place."

The state Department of Transportation says storm surge from Hurricane Irene has completely washed away segments of Highway 12 on Hatteras Island. The storm cut several channels through the road just north of Rodanthe. Highway 12 connects the island to the rest of the Outer Banks and the mainland. DOT spokeswoman Greer Beaty says much of the road is still impassible.

Federal officials are recognizing the work of state water quality and transportation officials in protecting wetlands. The Federal Highway Administration is presenting the state Division of Water Quality and Department of Transportation with two awards. Susan Massengale is a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. She says one award is for the development of an advanced modeling system that produces accurate maps of streams and wetlands.

The state Department of Transportation says it's considering ways to improve activity at North Carolina's ports. The agency is conducting a study it says is designed to explore options for expansion. The Ports Authority proposed building an international port near Southport in 2006. Opponents citing environmental concerns fear the state will use the study to justify building the mega-port. DOT spokeswoman Greer Beaty says the agency will consider every proposal.

A picture of a yellow NCDOT truck.
ncdot.org

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is expanding its driver assistance patrols to interstate between major cities. The Incident Management Assistance Patrol, or IMAP, has increased its number of yellow trucks on areas between Charlotte and Raleigh. That includes Davidson, Randolph, and Rowan Counties along I-85. IMAP directs traffic in the event of major accidents and helps with broken down vehicles to improve congestion. Sam Whittington is the Regional Instant Management Engineer for the Triad.

The state Department of Transportation has awarded a contract for what it says is the most cost-effective plan to build a new Bonner Bridge. The existing bridge that connects Hatteras Island to the northern Outer Banks is nearly 50 years old and cost the DOT more than $26 million to repair over the last decade. The contract awarded to PCL Civil Constructors and HDR Engineering is the cheapest of the three proposals at $216 million, but also got the lowest technical score from state officials.

North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would require drivers under 18 to log 120 hours behind the wheel before getting a license. A parent or other qualified adult would have to sign off on the log. However teens could wait and get their licenses without taking driver's education classes when they turn 18. Lawmakers say the bill comes from recommendations by a task force charged with reducing teen highway deaths. State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Greer Beaty says the agency supports parents' involvement in teaching their children how to drive safely.

The state Department of Transportation has released a survey that identifies a need for improving bicycle and pedestrian safety. Nearly three quarters of respondents said they don't feel safe biking through their communities on a daily basis. That number was about 50 percent for pedestrians. The survey identified a lack of bicycle lanes and sidewalks as the top safety issue. But DOT spokeswoman Julia Merchant says there also needs to be a mutual respect among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

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