TDOT, THP gearing up for eclipse traffic

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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