TDOT, THP gearing up for eclipse traffic

Traffic Update, 5:30 p.m. Monday

  • Traffic remains heavy and slow from I-75 N in McMinn County all the way to the West Hills exit on I-40 in Knoxville.
  • I-40 E in Roane County is heavy and slow between MM 343 and MM 353
  • Traffic heavy and slow on I-40 E in Loudon County
  • Crash in Monroe County blocking one lane of I-75 N at MM 64.6

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Traffic Update, 4 p.m. Monday

  • Knox County – I-40 East from Watt Road to Pellissippi Parkway has slow and heavy traffic
  • Loudon County – I-75 North from Mile Marker 81 to I-40 has extremely heavy, stop-and-go traffic
  • Monroe County – I-75 North from Mile Marker 60 in Sweetwater to Loudon County has extremely heavy traffic

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Traffic update, 1:28 p.m. Monday

TDOT says the previous backup in Knoxville on Interstate 40 West is improving. Traffic is moving at a good pace.

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Traffic Update, 11:45 a.m. Monday

  • Knox County – All lanes back open on Interstate 40 at mile marker 402 after a previous crash, but backup is still five miles to about mile marker 407.
  • Knox County – I-40 West through Knoxville is heavy stop and go traffic, bumper to bumper between Cedar Bluff and the truck scales at mile marker 371.
  • Jefferson County – A previous backup on Interstate 81 at the Interstate 40 junction has cleared.
  • Blount County – Highway 411 from Blount County to Monroe County is heavy, bumper to bumper traffic.
  • Blount County – Broadway Avenue through Maryville is heavy, bumper to bumper traffic.
  • Blount County – Highway 321 in Townsend is heavy, bumper to bumper traffic
  • Monroe County – There is a quarter mile backup turning onto State Route 360 from Highway 411
  • Roane County – No reported issues on I-40
  • Rest areas on I-40 West at mile marker 325 in Cumberland County, and I-75 North and South at mile marker 45 in McMinn County are closed.
  • Rep. Ken Yager reports on Twitter that traffic is backed up for miles in Kingston

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Department of Transportation is gearing up for major traffic delays leading up to the total eclipse on August 21.

“We are halting all structure-related lane closures from Friday the 18th at noon all the way to the 22nd after the eclipse the next day at 12 noon,” said TDOT spokesman Mark Nagi.

Nagi says the department will have extra people working and the HELP trucks will extend their routes.

He says it’s important for drivers to keep the roads safe.

“Make sure that you are giving yourself extra braking room because this is going to be a different situation and people are going to want to be paying attention to that. They may not be paying 100 percent attention to the road itself,” said Nagi.

He says if drivers want to see the eclipse, they need to be at their destination or pulled over in a parking lot beforehand.

“We want to make sure that people realize that pulling over to the side of the road, or coming to a stop or slowing down on an interstate or state routes, that’s an awful idea,” said Nagi.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol will have extra troopers out making sure people are staying safe.

“Our plan is to have a trooper every five miles or so,” said Maj. Matt Berry.

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