On August 21, 2017, Missourians will have a unique opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse. While all Missourians will view at least a 90 percent solar eclipse, there is a 300 mile long and 70 mile wide path across Missouri where you can view a total solar eclipse. The moon will begin to cover the sun around 11:45 a.m. Totality enters Missouri at St. Joseph at 1:06 p.m. CDT. It will follow a diagonal line crossing over Columbia and Jefferson City and exit Missouri near Perryville at 1:21 p.m. CDT. The moon will be off the sun completely around 2:45 p.m.
Events across the state are planned for this unique astronomical event. An additional 1.2 million people are expected to visit Missouri beginning Friday, August 18 and leaving most likely by Tuesday, August 22.
Motorists are also advised to expect heavy traffic on Missouri’s interstates and all roads inside the area of the total eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21. Extreme congestion is expected once the eclipse passes in the afternoon. Viewers of the eclipse should leave early for their viewing location, stay put and then leave late to avoid the heavy congestion after the total eclipse.
|• Plan ahead and allow extra travel time to reach your viewing location.|
|• Don’t stop along the interstate and no parking on the shoulder.|
|• Please exit the highway to stop and view and/or photograph the solar eclipse.|
|• Don’t take photographs while driving.|
|• Turn your headlights on and do not rely on your automatic headlights.|
|• Don’t wear “eclipse glasses” while you’re driving.|
|• Avoid travel during the eclipse or in the area of the main path if you can.|
|• If you have a minor crash on the eclipse day, please exit the highway to exchange insurance information. MO law requires vehicles to get out of the driving lanes when involved in a minor crash with no injuries.|
|• Watch out for extra pedestrians along smaller roads. People may be randomly parking and walking alongside roads in the hour before the total eclipse to get the best viewing.|
|• Prepare for extreme congestion after the eclipse and consider staying at your viewing location to avoid the heavy amounts of exiting traffic from events.|
|• Check traffic conditions on MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at http://traveler.modot.org/map/ also available as a free app at MoDOT Traveler Information.|