U.S. 117 southbound is down to one lane due to work at O'Berry Road.

Road closures, lane reductions and detours loom during the construction of interchanges on U.S. 117 South at O'Berry Road, Dudley, and Country Club Road, just north of Mount Olive.

Both interchanges are being built to enhance safety and in preparation for U.S. 117 eventually being designated as an Interstate in this area, DOT officials said.

Both intersections already carry an average of 15,000 vehicles per day, and that number is expected to increase to more than 27,000 per day by 2037, according to DOT data.

It is not the only roadwork that motorists may run into -- several paving projects in other areas of the county will be ongoing as well.

Even though workers might not be present in work zones, motorists should still expect narrowed or closed lanes, traffic shifts and reduced speed limits as well as other conditions that might affect normal travel.

Speeding in designated work zones can result in a penalty of $250, plus court costs.

Keep these tips in mind when traveling through a work zone:

* Stay alert: Dedicate your full attention to the roadway.

* Pay close attention: Signs and work zone flaggers save lives.

* Watch out for road debris.

* Turn on your headlights: Workers and other motorists must see you.

* Don't tailgate.

* Don't speed: Note the posted speed limits in and around a work zone.

* Keep up with the traffic flow.

* Don't change lanes in a work zone.

* Minimize distractions: Avoid changing radio stations and using mobile phones while driving in a work zone.

* Expect the unexpected and keep an eye out for workers and their equipment.

* Be patient and obey posted speed limits: Remember, the work zone crew members are working to improve your future ride. The penalty for speeding through a marked work zone is $250.

* Watch out for road debris.

* Don't drink and drive.

* Use alternate routes, when possible, to avoid traffic congestion.

* Leave early to get a head start on your drive and travel at non-peak times.