Estimates are 38.5 million people are within driving distance to Idaho's best eclipse viewing spots, but Sun-peepers on Idaho's eastern highway system won't have to worry about road construction delays. On the day of the eclipse, August 21, the Idaho transportation department is taking steps to mitigate danger and inconvenience.
Thousands of people are expected to be driving (and presumably looking upward) on Interstate 15 on the eclipse weekend. Bruce King with the Idaho Transportation Department said ITD officials are participating in monthly planning meetings with local law enforcement agencies and governments to coordinate visitor safety.
“The more traffic you have on the state highway system the more potential there is for congestion, and the more congestion there is the more risk of accidents, therefore we want to minimize any impediments to safe travel,” King said.
ITD will suspend construction projects and maintenance on most highways during eclipse weekend. Officials also are developing an incident response plan and identifying potential highway bottlenecks.
Interstate 15 exit 119 through Idaho Falls is currently identified as a potential high-traffic area. Electronic signs will notify motorists of road conditions and congestion, and flaggers may also be dispatched to deal with bottlenecks, King said. Drivers also can call 511 or visit 511.idaho.gov for road conditions and other travel information during eclipse weekend.
The https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/ website describes the August 21 event as "a cosmic billiard shot — the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up to reveal the Sun's atmosphere, it's corona. Eclipses on Earth occur only because of an amazing celestial coincidence."