INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Department of Transportation officials urge motorists to plan for traffic congestion expected to occur in southern Indiana before and after the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. Approximately 200 million people live within a day’s drive of the total eclipse path. Many will be on the road to get a closer view.
INDOT officials offer the following advice:
• Be prepared for traffic congestion before and after the August 21 eclipse. Interstate 69, U.S. 41, and U.S. 231 are expected to experience increased traffic in southbound lanes before the event as caravans of motorists head for Western Kentucky where the moon’s full eclipse of the sun can be viewed within a 70-mile-wide swath encompassing Hopkinsville, Paducah, and Madison, KY. After the event, transportation planners anticipate a “mass exodus” from total eclipse regions. Expect heavier than normal northbound traffic on these routes.
• Interstate 65 will also see increased traffic going to —and returning from — total eclipse vantage points that begin at Bowling Green, KY and extend beyond Nashville, TN. Again, southbound traffic is expected to rise before the solar eclipse. Northbound lanes will experience congestion after the eclipse.
If you want to drive toward the eclipse path for better viewing, allow extra time.
If skies are clear, August 21’s solar eclipse promises to be an unforgettable celestial phenomenon, the first that has been visible to all 48 contiguous states in several hundred years. Beyond the total eclipse’s 70-mile-wide path — which arcs across 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina — a partial eclipse will provide a sky show that becomes more and more pronounced the closer spectators get to the sun’s full black-out. The partial eclipse can be well seen throughout Indiana, but traveling south improves the view. For example, Evansville is situated to experience a partial eclipse of 99 percent and Jeffersonville will see 96 percent. This mid-day event waxes and wanes over a period of several hours.
• Make plans now for overnight accommodations—overnight camping is prohibited at rest areas.
• If planning to view the eclipse, wear safety glasses. They are available on-line or from many popular retailers costing from $2 to $70; some are being given away by organizations. DO NOT look at the partial eclipse without proper filtration.
• Don’t take pictures while driving.
• Don’t wear eclipse glasses while driving.
• Don’t stop along the interstate or park on the shoulder.
• Do turn your headlights on during the eclipse event.
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