This Week at NCDOT: Wildflower Awards and Traffic Safety Conference by
RALEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the department’s weekly newscast. Wildflower Program Awards Motorists on North Carolina’s highways have probably seen beautiful, colorful wildflowers along the way. These flower beds are part of the Wildflower Program, one of the department’s most popular initiatives, and a great source of pride for the division staff who manage it. Each year, division staff members are recognized by The Garden Club of North Carolina for their work to enhance the overall appearance and environmental quality of the state’s roadways. Last week, the winners were announced during the Board of Transportation meeting in Raleigh. The Best Overall Division Wildflower Program award went to Division 13, which includes Rutherford, McDowell, Burke, Mitchell, Yancey, Madison, and Buncombe counties. Division 4 received the William D. Johnson Daylily award for U.S. 264 at Downing Street in Wilson County. The Best Wildflower Planting in the eastern region of the state went to Division 2 at U.S. 70 and N.C. 148 in Lenoir County. Division 7 won the Best Wildflower Planting in the central region for Interstate 40/85 at Mt. Hope Church Road in Guilford County. The Best Wildflower Planting in the western region went to Division 14 for I-40 at Exit 31 in Haywood County. “When people see a wildflower bed up on the hillside, it’s not just about the single bed – it’s the stripes, colors and shapes,” said David Harris, Roadside Environmental Engineer. “The awards also bring honor and recognition for the efforts of what division staff do.” Started in 1985, the program is funded through the sale of personalized license plates and direct contributions. North Carolina now has more than 1,500 acres of flower beds statewide. Safe Digging For those who will be planting flowers or doing other work in the yard this spring, it’s important to remember that calling 811 should be the first step before digging. Many utilities are buried just a few inches below ground, so making a short phone call can help keep everyone safe. Utility companies will typically mark underground lines on private property in 2-3 working days. Visit Call811.com for more information. Traffic Safety Conference This week, highway safety professionals from across the state were able to network and learn how to improve roadway safety in their communities. The North Carolina Traffic Safety Conference, held in Wilmington, educated attendees on best practices, new initiatives and safety technology aimed at reducing roadway crashes and fatalities. With about 800 attendees, this marked the largest such conference in state history.
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