Local transportation officials prepare for solar eclipse traffic
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The solar eclipse is now just two weeks away.
While many people are making plans to travel to see the eclipse, local transportation officials are focusing on keeping you safe.
Jennifer Flynn with the Tennessee Department of Transportation says planning for the eclipse is similar to other large events held in the state.
“Planning ahead for this event like we would for any event where would have a large influx of traffic such as Bonnaroo or the CMA in Nashville,” Flynn says.
“We’ve been working closely with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and our plans are to keep traffic moving on the interstates and state routes,” she adds.
“The Tennessee Highway Patrol does have a total eclipse plan that we’ve put together, and all available troopers will be working that day,” says Lt. John Harmon with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
TDOT also has plans to be out on the roads the day of the eclipse.
“We’ll have help trucks out to assist the THP officers with traffic control. And then we’re working with local law enforcement as well,” Flynn says.
Both agencies emphasized finding a safe place to watch the eclipse – not the side of the interstate.
“The Tennessee Highway Patrol wants everyone to know that stopping on the interstate is prohibited. Even in the emergency lane,” says Lt. Harmon.
“If you want to view the eclipse, please just plan ahead, and be there in plenty of time, don’t be traveling during the eclipse – and if you are traveling, just keep driving and pretend like it’s night,” says Flynn.
“The Tennessee Highway Patrol recommends that everyone that’s looking at the eclipse find a safe location off the interstate system, and enjoy the eclipse. But do not do it while you’re driving down the road,” Lt. Harmon adds.