State fining contractor after Wednesday's traffic fiasco in Havelock

HAVELOCK, NC (WITN) - The state Department of Transportation says a contractor will be fined after Wednesday's traffic nightmare in Havelock.

People sat in traffic for hours because of lane closures on U.S. 70.

Contractors are building a flyover at the Slocum Gate for Cherry Point and were only supposed to close lanes during non-rush hour times.

The DOT says all lanes should have reopened by 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, but that didn't happen until 5:20 p.m.

In a Facebook post, Havelock says the mess was "unacceptable by any metric" and they were not told of the delayed reopening.

The state says the contractor was fined $500 for every 15 minutes the highway wasn't open after 3:00 p.m. and will consider additional fines if it happens again.

Lane closures on the busy highway are suspended until the DOT meets early next week with the contractor, Havelock and its police department "to find ways to ensure this does not happen again."