RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With Christmas just a few days away, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is giving drivers the gift of construction-free roads for their holiday travels.

According to a news release from the NCDOT on Tuesday morning, most state road construction projects will be temporarily put on hold to help lighten traffic for Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day travelers.

NCDOT officials said that, where possible, they plan to open lanes that have been closed for construction on interstates or U.S. or N.C. highways.

The lane openings start Tuesday and will remain that way through the evening of Dec. 28. Lanes will be opened once again from the morning of Dec. 31 through the evening of Jan. 4, 2022.

“Exceptions include bridges being replaced, long-term lane construction that cannot be temporarily removed, and highway work that does not impact travel,” according to the NCDOT.

The heaviest traffic is expected Monday, especially on interstates, the NCDOT release said.

The NCDOT offered up the following safety tips for travelers:

  • Leave early. Travel at non-peak hours and use alternative routes to avoid the heaviest traffic congestion.
  • Stay alert. Even when highway work is paused, you may encounter narrowed lanes, shifts in traffic and lower speed limits through work zones.
  • Be patient.
  • Don’t drive drowsy. For extended drives, take frequent breaks to remain alert.
  • Don’t drive distracted. When drivers are not focused on the road, they react slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in a crash.

“As always, drivers are urged to pay extra attention and be cautious when traveling – even in work zones where no construction activity is taking place. Make sure everyone is wearing seat belts, don’t drive impaired, and obey speed limits,” the NCDOT’s release continued.

Before heading out, travelers can check the status of their route on the NCDOT’s traffic website.