To address the numerous inquiries involving road closures and to prevent an overload of inquiries into 911 communication centers, it is requested that people seeking the status of roads closures dial 511 or go to www.ncdot.gov/travel.
Winter's intransigence still has Cameron Boulevard's resurfacing stuck in neutral.
"The weather has been a bear," said Jack Mitchell, chief operating officer with Triangle Grading and Paving.
However, relations between the company and state transportation authorities have markedly improved.
Triangle began in October to resurface the 1.4-mile stretch of N.C. 751 along the edge of Duke University's West Campus. The company's contract with DOT called for completion by Dec. 16, but various factors combined to hold the project up past the point when cold, wet and icy weather set in.
The company blamed DOT for slow decision-making; local DOT officials blamed the company's procrastination and wanted it to absorb more than $400,000 in extra costs. In early January, higher authority in DOT intervened to break the deadlock.
Since then, "We have been getting good cooperation," Bailey said. Some disagreements remain, but, he said, "We will have to fight that out when the time comes."
That time is later on; now, the contractor and the state can only watch the thermometer and the clouds.
"Maybe once these rains go away and we can get a couple of warmer days with sunshine, we can knock it out," Bailey said. "About three-four more days of paving will get us out of there."
View Edwards Mill Road Greenway in a larger map
DOT says it has awarded a $604,000 contract to build the 1.3-mile Edwards Mill Road Greenway in West Raleigh, from the Reedy Creek Road Greenway to Trinity Road.
State Contracting of Wake Forest won the contract, to start work as soon as Feb. 28 with completion in mid-October.
The new trail on the east side of Edwards Mill Road will extend Raleigh's greenway network, adding a connection to the Loblolly Trail through Schenk Forest. It also will give pedestrians and cyclists a new route to the RBC Center. The city of Raleigh will contribute $28,000 to the project and take over maintenance of the greenway after it is built.
Federal investigators have issued a subpoena for next week's grand jury that seeks a range of information touching on Department of Transportation people and issues in relation to former Gov. Mike Easley.
In addition, the subpoena indicates that feds are seeking information about Law Enforcement Associates, a company that has been in the news because of its ties to former state Sen. Tony Rand.
The subpoena asks for information on former Southport Mayor and longtime Easley friend Norman Holden. Holden had a $19,800-a-year contract with DOT as a liaison to 11 counties in southeastern North Carolina while Easley was in office.
The subpoena also asks for information about Easley's home on River Drive in Southport.
A subpoena means only that someone has been asked to provide information to authorities. It is not an allegation of wrongdoing.
The grand jury has been probing concerns surrounding Easley since last year. Its work is done in secret. An Easley aide, Ruffin Poole, was charged with 57 corruption counts as a result of the grand jury's work. Poole pleaded guilty to a tax evasion charge last month.
The grand jury meets next week.
Among the people who the federal authorities are seeking information about are some key figures in Easley's DOT administration: former Sec. Lyndo Tippett; former deputy secretary Dan DeVane; turnpike authority head and Easley campaign worker David Joyner; a division engineer in Wilmington, Allen Pope; former DOT board member Louis Sewell; former DMV commissioner George Tatum; and two HR officials.
Easley has said he is comfortable with authorities reviewing his years in public service.
The subpoena, which was drafted on April 28 and delivered to DOT on May 5, is attached.
— J. Andrew Curliss
The N.C. Department of Transportation today released the following advisory about the winter weather forecast for this weekend.
Central North Carolina
The central part of the state is forecasted to see snow and ice from this storm. To prepare, crews in many counties have already started pre-treating the highways. They plan to continue spraying salt brine on these heavily traveled roads until precipitation starts falling.
Crews are also checking equipment such as plows and spreaders and preparing to work special shifts to conduct snow removal.
Eastern North Carolina
The storm is expected to generate a wintry mix in Eastern North Carolina. Crews are pre-treating the primary routes in counties forecasted to get more than just rain. Crews throughout the region will remain on standby until the storm is over. During their shifts, they will check equipment to ensure it is ready for use.
Snow Clearing Policy
The department prioritizes which roads are cleared first, focusing on strategic corridors such as interstates and other multi-lane primary routes that are essential to the movement of intrastate and regional traffic.
The DOT then works to clear lower-volume primary roads and secondary roads and then subdivision streets.
Motorists are asked to give snow plows and other DOT equipment plenty of room and to avoid unnecessary travel, both for their safety and to give crews time to clear the affected roadways. If travel is absolutely necessary, motorists should use the following precautions:
• Clear windows and mirrors.
• Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
• Bridges and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge.
• If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.
• Come to a complete stop or yield the right-of-way when approaching an intersection where traffic lights are out. Treat this scenario as a four-way stop.
• If you have a cellular phone, take it with you; you can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling HP (*47) or call the county emergency center by dialing 911.
For real-time information on road conditions, visit www.ncdot.gov/traffictravel/ or call 511, the state’s free travel-information line. The DOT also provides alerts about road conditions on Twitter. To access them, go to www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter/.
The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources squandered nearly $700,000 this year buying environmental restoration from a company that had already been paid for the same work by another state agency nine years earlier, said a state legislative review released today.
The state legislature's Program Evaluation Division also found that the state's losses could continue. The environmental agency has certified that the company can sell more acreage for environmental restoration that also had previously been bought by the state Department of Transportation.
"Decisions related to this controversy resulted in actual and potential future losses to the environmental integrity of the Neuse River basin," said the report.
The N.C. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General issued a report in October about complaints that Durham-based Mainline Contracting, which has filed for bankruptcy, had not been paying minority subcontractors promptly on a $5.8 million project it was awarded in 2008 for work at the Smith Reynolds Airport (SRA) in Winston-Salem.
Mainline was signed as the prime contractor on the SRA job on Oct. 7, 2008. The project was to rehab and make improvements to an airport runway.
The DOT was brought in to investigate after a group of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, or DBEs, hired for the project voiced concerns about civil rights violations because they were not being paid promptly by Mainline.
The Civil Rights Act includes a clause stipulating that contracts and subcontracts must be paid promptly, in this case that the payments are released within 7 days of the contractors receipts of payment from the owner.
The SRA project was funded with a $6.5 million block grant from the state. The Office of Inspector General report shows that Mainline invoiced $2.96 million and was paid $2.81 million.
Paving of Graylyn Road may finally begin; State Parks expects to release Umstead access plan this week.