The total solar eclipse is just a week away and Oregon transportation officials are bracing for the influx of up to one million visitors to the state. They’re urging travelers to treat it as a 3 or 4 day event even though the eclipse itself will only last 3 hours.
ODOT’s Dave Thompson says virtually every road leading into and out of the path of totality will be affected by eclipse traffic.
“The days of ‘I know the back roads, I can get there the secret way, are gone because of GPS. Everybody has it in their car. All the rental cars have it so the visitors know just as much through their GPS as we do for the secret ways around.”
Thompson says he’s especially concerned about people who think they can leave early Monday morning to head to an eclipse viewing spot. An even bigger nightmare is if hundreds of thousands of people try to drive home right after the eclipse.
“They won’t go anywhere very fast at all. There’s no capacity to handle that much traffic. So, people need to be prepared for sticking around for a while. I’d rather stick around somewhere comfortable rather than in my car waiting for traffic to move.”
Thompson says ODOT will have trucks on patrol to help when people break down along the road.
They’ll also have reader boards on major highways updating road conditions.
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