ODOT is warning last minute travelers they could miss it all if they wait until Monday Aug. 21 to hit the road. The total solar eclipse that morning will likely be the busiest traffic event in Oregon history. Eclipse fans must be in place well beforehand or risk getting stuck in traffic.
Post-eclipse travel may present even more problems. With hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the road at the same time, the trip home may be the most difficult part.
ODOT’s advice? Arrive early, stay put and leave late. This is NOT a game day: Please treat the 3-minute eclipse as a 3-DAY event.
Travelers have a shared responsibility to keep themselves, their passengers and other travelers safe.
Here’s the truth to dispel four rumors ODOT wishes we could launch into a black hole:
* ODOT is NOT planning to close any highways. Traffic may do that all by itself, but ODOT doesn’t plan to, unless it’s a short closure for emergency response.
* ODOT is NOT planning to turn any highways into one-way roads. The staff required to perform that safely is not available.
* ODOT is NOT prohibiting big-rig traffic in Oregon. We are restricting one specific kind of truckload—over-width loads. But all other kinds of trucks can continue to carry interstate commerce in Oregon—or you wouldn’t get your gasoline, food, eclipse paraphernalia and other things you expect during that time.
* Rest areas will be open, but they are NOT available for camping.
* ODOT will make regular, frequent updates to www.TripCheck.com and 511. We will use our social media accounts (facebook.com/OregonDOT and twitter.com/OregonDOT) to report road conditions, but they may not be staffed 24/7. And we will keep local media up to date so they can report travel time and road condition information.
ODOT will have crews posted at strategic locations along critical travel routes to help keep motorists mobile and safe.
But it still comes down to you. Plan to have a good time in Oregon viewing the eclipse. Plan ahead, so you will.
Visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/Eclipse.aspx for eclipse information.