Illinois Department of Transportation preparing for solar eclipse

SPRINGFIELD - August 21st will mark the first time in 26 years, a total solar eclipse will be visible in this part of the world. Carbondale will host people from all over the world who would like to witness this once in a lifetime opportunity. While some people are getting ready to make the trip, the Illinois Department of Transportation is preparing to host all these travelers and make sure traffic keeps moving and that the public remains safe leading up to this event.

Up to 200,000 people are expected to visit southern Illinois to view the eclipse and take part in local festivities. To help with traffic flow, lane closures on major IDOT projects in southern Illinois will be temporarily lifted during the weekend before the eclipse and the following day. The Illinois Department of transportation will be working alongside state police to appropriately staff traffic control points, but will not be placing special restriction on truck activities, unlike other states where the eclipse will be visible.

Carbondale is in the direct path of the eclipse. The rest of the state can expect to see a partial eclipse of about 90 percent. Travelers can expect to receive traffic updates and safety messages throughout the state by digital message boards on major roads.

Illinois Transportation Secretary, Randy Blankenhorm said, “The Illinois Department of Transportation is proud to be one of several state agencies teaming up to make sure that Illinois is prepared to host this historic occasion.” The Department is also asking for public cooperation to do their part to keep the roads safe, and follow a few guidelines.

Illinois Department of Transportation tips

  • Plan ahead: Do not expect to park and view the eclipse from the side of the road
  • Anticipate increased pedestrian and bike traffic near popular viewing areas.
  • Do not wear special viewing glasses or take photos of the eclipse while driving
  • On the day of the eclipse, drive with your headlights on
  • Use the Getting Around Illinois website to get the lasts on traffic conditions 

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