Rutherford County’s Thermal Belt Rail Trail receives Two Honorable Mentions in the 2020 NCDOT Mobi Awards!

Tourism Honorable Mention: Thermal Belt Rail Trail: Connecting Great Small Towns

Most Voted Honorable Mention: Thermal Belt Rail Trail: Connecting Great Small Towns

The N.C. Department of Transportation honored communities today that developed the state’s best multimodal projects, including a public transportation service in Shelby and a bridge with a multi-use path connecting Surf City to Topsail Island.

The NCDOT Mobi Awards, which started last year, honor transportation projects that improve the economy and enhance the quality of life in North Carolina communities. Projects had to combine the use of at least two transportation modes such as aviation, bicycle, pedestrian, ferry, public transportation, rail and roadway.

More than 60 projects competed in this year’s NCDOT Mobi Awards.   “Whether we’re building bike and walking paths, making it more convenient for people to use public transportation or finding new ways to safely accommodate travelers on our highways, multimodal projects are an important piece of our transportation present and future,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “And it’s why we’re here today – to celebrate your commitment to multimodal investments and the important role they play in our way of life.”   Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Mobi Awards were presented virtually and are available on NCDOT’s YouTube Channel

Judges selected winners and honorable mentions from the following categories: Rural, Urban, Tourism and Innovation. For a new category, Most Voted Project, all this year’s entries were placed online so the public could vote for a First-Place winner and an honorable mention.  

The 2020 NCDOT Mobi Book, which has detailed descriptions and pictures of all this year’s entries, can be found online.  

Judges selected this year’s top projects based on how well projects leveraged public and private investment, contributed to economic development, created long-term jobs, improved public health and quality of life, and made other significant contributions.   The event’s organizers were NCDOT, the North Carolina Triangle Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, N.C. Go!, and N.C. State University Institute for Transportation Research and Education.

Shared by IRPO–I-26 Traffic Moving to New Lanes

Westbound traffic shifting prior to Brevard Road

ASHEVILLE – Thousands of drivers heading into Asheville will be cruising on a brand new section of interstate starting Thursday morning.
A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will shift traffic on westbound Interstate 26 to newly constructed outside lanes prior to Brevard Road (Exit 33) on Wednesday night, weather permitting. 

The shift will allow crews from Blythe Development to completely rehabilitate the current existing lanes. This phase of the $47.4 million project to improve the I-26/Brevard Road interchange will involve removing the existing asphalt, building new concrete lanes, constructing a median wall and improving the drainage.

Completion of the project will result in new bridges on Brevard Road over the interstate and four lanes in each direction on I-26. It will align with the current I-26 widening project from Henderson County to this project.

Transportation officials remind drivers to drive alert, obey all posted signs and slow down in work zones. 

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.


Shared by IRPO–As a Reminder: Get Involved with Great Trails State Plan!!

What trails do you use and like most? What would make that experience better? What are the most important new trail connections that should be made?

The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to hear from the public about North Carolina’s trails and how to make them better.

The public can give feedback two ways by taking an interactive map survey and a 10-question survey. Participants are encouraged to take both surveys below.

10-Question Survey

Interactive Map Survey

An overview of the Great Trails State Plan effort!

Shared by IRPO–New Digital Signs Helping I-40 Drivers

Boards provide instant information for Old Fort Mountain

BLACK MOUNTAIN – New signs with instant information have already provided benefits to drivers on the Old Fort Mountain section of Interstate 40.

A pair of dynamic message signs activated early this summer played a role in informing drivers of a roll-over crash last week that closed two eastbound lanes. The new eastbound sign near mile marker 64 told drivers, “Crash, 5 Miles Ahead, Left Lanes Closed.” It displayed the message while McDowell County EMS, State Highway Patrol and N.C. Department of Transportation personnel worked to reopen the lanes.

“The more advance warning we can provide motorists, the better so they can make better and safer travel decisions,” Western Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer Chad Franklin said. “Drivers will be aware of the issue and they can slow down, or use a detour to bypass the incident.”

The safety project, adding signs prior to drivers navigating Old Fort Mountain, is designed to provide instant information in the event of a crash, maintenance, weather events, emergency events or any other roadway issue. Advance warning helps drivers make better travel decisions and reduces the possibility of crashes, including secondary crashes.

The Old Fort Mountain section of I-40, which traverses about 1,350 feet in elevation change over approximately 4.5 miles, carries about 38,000 vehicles per day, based on the 2018 traffic count.

“The signs will provide drivers the information necessary to make safe travel decisions,” Division 13 Traffic Engineer Anna Henderson said. “They can see it right there, in an instant, through their windshield.”

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.


TAC and TAC Meetings

The RPO will hold a TCC and a TAC meeting on July 8th.

The Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) meeting will start at 10:30 AM and will be live-streamed on the RPO’s Facebook page: See the agenda packet here.

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting will start at 1:00 PM. The meeting will be live-streamed on the RPO’s Facebook page:, See the agenda packet here.

If you would like an invitation to either meeting or have a comment, please email by 9:00 AM, July 8th, 2020.

Maintain Your Independence: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Statewide ‘Booze It & Lose It’ Campaign Underway

Maintain Your Independence: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Statewide ‘Booze It & Lose It’ Campaign Underway CHERRY POINT – The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program has a new weapon in its arsenal in the war against impaired driving during the Independence Day holiday – window chalk.

“As a show of solidarity during the campaign, which runs today through July 5, drivers are being asked to write the message (hashtag) #KeysFreeNC in window chalk on their vehicles to help encourage fellow North Carolinians to leave the keys behind if they are going to be drinking,” said NCGHSP director Mark Ezzell.

Drunk driving is historically high during the week leading up the Fourth of July, though previous community efforts are making an impact.

Last July 1-7, for instance, North Carolina experienced an 11 percent decrease in fatalities from the year prior.

To help encourage that downward trend, NCGHSP teamed up with Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to kick-off the annual statewide ‘Operation Firecracker’ ‘Booze It & Lose It’ enhanced enforcement campaign.

As part of the campaign, teams of MCASCP military, law enforcementfirefighters and first responders used roadside message boards to encourage safe, sober driving. More than 500 law enforcement agencies around the state are also increasing their presence this week and sharing these simple messages throughout their communities and online: This Drive-Through is to Remind You to Drive Sober this 4th of July. Booze It & Lose It. Don’t Drink and Drive. App your ride. Don’t Drink and Drive. Call a friend. Don’t Drink and Drive. Take public transportation. Don’t Drink and Drive. Take a cab. Don’t Drink and Drive. Show your support #KeysFreeNC
This year, amidst COVID-19, it’s unclear if impaired driving over the holiday weekend will plague our roadways.

But what is clear is that leaders statewide are concerned about the implications impaired driving will have on our state, particularly this upcoming holiday.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Program released a video following today’s kick-off event.

The video includes messages of support from the NCGHSP’s director, Mark Ezzell, as well as Mikel Huber, Base Commander Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes and his office, Pastor M. Luther Hill, who serves as the Clinton Chapel AME ZION Church and the chaplain of the New Bern Police Department, and First Lady Kristen Cooper.

For those who have a social media platform, show NCGHSP how you are celebrating safely. Mention @NCGHSP on Facebook and tag @NC_GHSP on Twitter and Instagram with #KeysFreeNC and #NCGHSP to show that you are celebrating safely.   Overhead Signs Statewide.png  


Shared by IRPO–U.S. 64/74A Storm Damage Repaired

LAKE LURE – A section of U.S. 64/74A in Rutherford County has been repaired, repaved and reopened after heavy rains damaged the area on May 19. N.C. Department of Transportation crews removed debris from the stream and a culvert at the intersection with Rock Branch Road, about 6.5 miles east of Lake Lure. Crews also cut and removed an undermined portion of asphalt on the highway and added a new stone base before repaving the final surface on Monday.

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.