Thanksgiving Travel: Know Before You Go and Save Time, Money


RALEIGH — As North Carolinians prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the N.C. Department of Transportation will help make trips a little smoother by suspending most road construction activities on major routes across the state.

Most construction work that would require a lane or road closure along all interstates and N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended from 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, until midnight, Sunday, Nov. 27, with exceptions including:

  • One lane is closed with portable traffic signals on U.S. 264 in Hyde County near Long Shoal River bridge, which is being replaced;
  • Eastbound U.S. 264 is closed with a detour near N.C. 99 in Beaufort County for a bridge replacement project;
  • N.C. 24 has a closure from Mitchell Loop Road to U.S. 421/701 Bypass in Sampson County, where crews are widening the eastbound lane within the city of Clinton;
  • In Brunswick County, a detour route is in place for Cedar Hill Road for a closure south of Royster Road NE while a bridge is being constructed, as well as other utility and road work related to the construction of I-140 between U.S. 74/76 (Andrew Jackson Highway) to Cedar Hill Road;
  • N.C. 294 from Sunny Point Road to Upper Bear Paw Road in Cherokee County has a lane closure for a roadway realignment at Radford Road and Ware Road; and
  • One lane of U.S. 74 in Jackson County is shut down between Sugar Loaf Road and Mount Pleasant Road for a bridge replacement.

Travelers also need to be aware that more than 200 local roads in the eastern part of the state are closed or have lane closures due to damage from Hurricane Matthew.

In the southwestern corner of the state, several forest fires could affect travel as smoky conditions may reduce visibility. Shifting fires and smoke could cause a road to be closed on short notice for safety reasons.

Drivers can get the latest update on travel conditions for the route they want to use or the area they will be traveling in by using the drop-down menus in the travel section of ncdot.gov. Once on the road, they can call 511 to get the same up-to-date information. From outside of North Carolina, call (877) 511-4662.

By avoiding traffic delays and planning ahead, motorists can reach their destinations safely and efficiently. Here are some additional tips for safe driving during the holiday season:

  • Leave early to get a head start, and travel at non-peak hours if possible, as Wednesday afternoon/evening and Sunday afternoon/evening will be the heaviest traffic congestion periods;
  • Stay alert;
  • Be patient and obey the speed limit;
  • Use your seat belt, as the annual Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign is in effect Nov. 21-27;
  • Use alternative routes to avoid traffic congestion;
  • Allow extra time for your travels, regardless of the route you choose;
  • To avoid drowsy driving, travel at times you are normally awake and take frequent breaks; and
  • Avoid distracted driving.
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