What CDOT is Doing During Solar Eclipse to Make Sure You Are Safe
CDOT believes eclipse traffic around August 21 could be most significant traffic event of the year. Traffic going to Wyoming and Nebraska for Monday viewing is expected to be very heavy through the weekend. The Colorado Department of Transportation is doing everything it can to ensure folks who are driving to view the eclipse on Monday are safe and will all be able to get where they are going.
CDOT Plans to Make Eclipse Traffic Safe
- Stopping permits for all oversize/overweight vehicles from Thursday, Aug. 17, to Wednesday, Aug. 23, north of Colorado Highway 50.
- Suspending construction on all projects from Friday afternoon to Tuesday morning.
- Increasing CDOT Safety Patrol along North I-25 from one unit to four.
- Strategically staging with State Patrol and local emergency responders along the major corridors to respond to incidents on the roadways.
- Closely monitoring traffic and incidents from CDOT Traffic Management Centers using traffic cameras and other Intelligent Transportation System devices.
Plan ahead, be safe, and be patient.
Larimer County’s Plans
Larimer County has set up a great way to stay in touch with traffic, emergency and weather alerts for the event. Just text the word “ECLIPSE” to 888777 and you will get all you need to know.
In Colorado, you can also go to www.cotrip.org and in Wyoming, you can go to www.wyoroad.info for real-time traffic updates. CDOT also has a page dedicated to eclipse information: www.codot.gov/news/2017-news/august/eclipse-traffic-tips
Some experts are predicting up to 600,000 more people cramming into Wyoming to witness this. That’s basically doubling the population of the state. And we know a lot of those folks are going to be coming from the south so all Colorado highways heading there (I-25, US 287, US 85, CO 52, etc.) are expected to be busy.
When Will Traffic Be the Worst?
Since the eclipse is on a Monday, traffic is expected to be heavy through the whole weekend before but will probably be even worse coming back after the sun shines again. Travel delays could exceed several hours, between Wyoming and Denver, especially for return traffic on Monday. CDOT expects the highest delays to be on Monday between noon and midnight, southbound from Wyoming to Colorado Springs. Delays could last through Tuesday. CDOT strongly urges travelers to avoid travel during that time.
Other Tips to Help Make Your Eclipse Trip Safe
- Pay attention, and don’t drive distracted. Drive defensively because there will be more motorists on the road, and some of them may be slowing down or may not be paying attention when the eclipse is occurring.
- Ensure vehicles have plenty of fuel.
- Don’t stop and pull off onto the side of the roads.
- Don’t use the center median crossings on the interstates for turning around or parking. Those crossings are for authorized vehicles. Emergency vehicles need to keep these areas clear for response to emergency situations.
- Don’t park on any highway shoulder or in any ditch area. That can not only be dangerous for you and other drivers, but a person’s car exhaust could start a grass fire.
- Plan ahead and move to a safe and legal area prior to the eclipse so you can enjoy the experience.
- Use eclipse glasses to safely view the eclipse. These glasses provide eye protection from the eclipse.
- Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks.
- Travelers should check applicable traveler information for Wyoming and Colorado (COTrip, 511, GovDelivery alerts, mobile navigation apps) before departing and reference traveler information throughout their trip to avoid significant delays. But realize that, depending on the traffic, cell phone coverage may be overwhelmed.