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Heavy traffic expected along I-15 for solar eclipse travelers

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-16 14:46:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation urges drivers to prepare for heavy delays throughout the state as travelers from across the western U.S. drive to Idaho and Wyoming to view the solar eclipse on August 21.

UDOT expects as many as 50,000 additional vehicles will travel through Utah, with heavier than usual traffic beginning Friday afternoon.

Traffic congestion is expected to be especially heavy along I-15 between Brigham City and Tremonton, and the biggest delays are expected Monday evening, when return traffic coincides with southbound commuter traffic.

UDOT plans to suspend construction projects and open more lanes where it’s possible in order to reduce delays.

Tips for planning your weekend travel:

  • Keep a full tank of gas. Traffic may make it difficult to access gas stations, and in rural areas fuel may be in short supply due to heavy demand.
  • Bring extra food, water and snacks.
  • Expect spotty or nonexistent cellular coverage.
  • Do not stop on roads or park on shoulders to watch the eclipse. Stopping on highways – even on the shoulder – is unsafe, and can make it difficult for emergency vehicles to respond to incidents.
  • Plan to spend extra time before returning home. While traffic engineers expect travel to Idaho and Wyoming – areas within the eclipse’s path of totality – will be spread out over a few days prior to Monday, the biggest surge in traffic is planned for Monday afternoon and evening. Choosing to stay a few hours, or even a day later, can help reduce delays and create a more enjoyable trip.

Visit udot.utah.gov or download the UDOT smartphone app for updates on traffic.