As The Moon Blocks The Sun, Traffic Is Expected To Block Major Utah Roads

Aug 18, 2017

Credit Orem City

As thousands scramble north to view Monday’s cosmic event, travelers on major Utah highways are predicted to face heavy traffic.

Is it a sign? While predictions abound about Monday’s eclipse, one thing is for sure: Utah’s roads will be strained as north-bound citizens make the drive for the best view.

John Gleason with the Utah Department of Transportation said UDOT expects major delays throughout the weekend.

“This is a really difficult event to predict because they’re not really selling tickets for the eclipse. On a typical day in the Salt Lake Valley, we see about 200,000 vehicles on I-15,” he said. “We’re estimating that we could see an additional 50,000 over the next few days here. So, that’s a pretty major increase.”

The increase will culminate in major delays on Monday as returning viewers join the evening rush.

“Once the eclipse is over and done, it’s almost like a big game that ends on a game-winning catch and the entire stadium filters out all at once,” Gleason said. “And it’s about three or four in the afternoon that traffic is going to be coming back into the Salt Lake Valley.”

In preparation for the traffic influx, UDOT is halting several construction projects throughout the state including repaving on I-15 spanning from Brigham City to Honeyville.

“We’re recommending people err on the side of caution and maybe stay home on Monday evening or at least stay off the freeway if you can,” Gleason said.

Drivers are advised to keep a full tank of gas, bring water and snacks, and, most-of-all, to not stop on the road to watch the eclipse.