Total Solar Eclipse 2017 – Transportation & Trucking Alerts
For the first time since 1979, a Total Solar Eclipse will be visible in the continental United States. On August 21, 2017 the moon will completely cover the sun for anywhere up to 3 minutes in a band across the country. This band is roughly 65 miles wide, and extends from Oregon to South Carolina:
OR – Lincoln City to Ontario
ID – Weiser to Victor
WY – diagonal from Yellowstone Park to Torrington
NE – diagonal from Mitchell to Falls City
Western cities in the band include Boise, Yellowstone, Casper, Grand Island and Kansas City.
Affected Interstate routes in the western states.
I-5 in Oregon between Eugene and Patton
I-84 in Oregon/Idaho between LaGrande and Boise
I-15 in Idaho between Pocatello and Dillon
I-25 in Wyoming between Cheyenne and Sheridan
I-80 in Nebraska from the CO State line to I-29
I-29 in Nebraska/Kansas from Omaha to south of Kansas City
I-35 in Missouri from south of Kansas City to state line
I-70 in Kansas/Missouri from Topeka to east of St. Louis
Please note that traffic in and around these Eclipse Band areas is expected to be exceptionally heavy. Traffic may actually come to a standstill with vehicles parking on the sides of the road to view the Eclipse. Law enforcement agencies are gearing up to address these concerns, and you will probably see a large law enforcement presence.
Many cities and towns that are in the direct line of the Eclipse band may not allow deliveries and pick-ups due to expected vehicle and pedestrian congestion. We have heard that some populations are expected to double and triple with tourists and scientists arriving from all over the world.
Motor carriers should expect delays and heavy congestion on major & minor highways.
No over-width loads will be allowed to operate anywhere in Oregon from noon Friday Aug. 18 to 12:01 a.m. Tuesday Aug. 22.
Nearly all construction and non-emergency maintenance on state highways in the path of totality will be shut down Aug. 18-22, and work on other roads will be curtailed depending on the expected traffic impact of the eclipse.
Most if not all fairgrounds are booked for events. There will be no large emergency parking areas available to CMVs stuck in traffic due to roads blocked by crashes.
Rest areas and roadside pullouts may have people camping in place, which will exacerbate parking problems for commercial motor vehicles. Scale locations may be used for staging by law enforcement and emergency response vehicles and may not be available for use by commercial motor vehicles.
Motor carriers should plan for personal needs if stuck in traffic, for things like food, water and bathroom breaks.
Along with Nebraska, Wyoming is one of the best locations to see the Eclipse. It will be visible in Casper at 11:42:40am for about 2 ½ minutes.
Overweight and oversize loads will not be allowed to travel on any Interstate or Primary & Secondary highway in Wyoming on Aug. 20, 21 and 22 because of the anticipated increase in traffic for the solar eclipse. Wyoming Highway Patrol is putting this in place as a safety measure to help with traffic flow. Any questions please call (307) 777-4376 or (307) 777-4872.
While Colorado is not in the direct line of the eclipse, one of the best places in the entire country to see the solar eclipse will be in Casper, Wyoming right off of I-25. The population of Wyoming is expected to double that day with the major influx coming from the Denver Area and Albuquerque. The Colorado State Patrol is anticipating SIGNIFICANT delays on I-25 from Pueblo to the Wyoming State Line and I-76 from Denver to the Nebraska State Line on the day of the eclipse and the weekend leading up to August 21st.
Approximately 468.4 miles of Nebraska is in the viewing zone. An influx of out-of-state visitors is also expected to come to NE to witness the event. Heavy traffic, extreme congestion and large crowds across the entire state are expected. Many communities have planned weekend events, so plan on heavy traffic being possible over the weekend leading up to the actual day of the eclipse.
The Kansas City area will be highly congested in all directions, and traffic is expected to be very heavy.
Please work with your dispatch / customers to make sure your deliveries are scheduled to avoid these times and areas if at all possible.
Driver Reminders (courtesy of the NE Dept. of Transportation website and OR DOT)
• If you are driving during the eclipse, be prepared for almost total twilight conditions
• Don’t stop along the interstate and no parking on the shoulder.
• Please exit the highway to stop and view and/or photograph the solar eclipse.
• Don’t take photographs while driving.
• Turn your headlights on and do not rely on your auto headlights.
• Watch out for extra pedestrians along smaller roads. People may be randomly parking and walking alongside roads in the hour before the total eclipse to get the best viewing.
• Prepare for extra congestion especially on the interstates in the path on the day before, day of and day after the eclipse.
• Don’t wear “eclipse glasses” while you’re driving.
• Avoid travel during the eclipse or in the area of the main path if you can.
• If the “tourist” projections bear out, local communities could see depletion of basic resources such as food and water, especially in rural areas.
• Drivers should plan for personal needs if stuck in traffic, for things like food, water and bathroom breaks.
To see specific maps, times and activities by state go to www.eclipse2017.org.