This week on the Down East Journal, we take part in drone testing with the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort.  From tracking sea turtles off our coast to collecting information about marine debris, drones are proving beneficial to coastal scientists.  And, traffic congestion around Camp Lejeune has police cracking down on motorist blocking a major intersection. 

Googe Earth

Jacksonville Police are aggressively issuing citations to drivers who block major intersections during busy commuter periods along Lejeune Boulevard.  Sarah Finch has more.

Motorists in Jacksonville are all too familiar with traffic congestion, especially around Camp Lejeune in the morning and afternoon. And the problem didn’t get any better when the Marine Corp base closed one of their gates on May 27th.  Camp Lejeune Public Affairs Director Nat Fahy says they shut down the gate for security reasons, and to free up military personnel to manage other base entrances.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation will begin demolishing the old bridges that run along Queen Street as early as July 8. The city of Kinston has long planned to renovate the bridges, and expects the project will be completed by April of 2016.

During the 10 intervening months, that section of Queen Street will be closed. Drivers will have to take a detour along King Street to reach Highway 70 from Skinner’s Bypass. The project has an estimated cost of $11 million.

Recent media reports have indicated a lack of Highway Patrol in eastern North Carolina. Captain John Nyberg of Troop A  says  the shortage is real and they have sustained a minimum of troopers for years. Nyberg says Troop A currently employs 121 Highway Patrolmen, but the ideal number is 150.

 "That number is one that's been around for quite a long time, and you don't have to look that far to see how much the population has increased over the years."