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For more information, contact Sally Oxenhandler at (573) 522-3375 or MoDOT Communications at (573) 751-3322.

August 08, 2017 09:16 AM
MoDOT Planning for Increased Traffic in Central Missouri for Solar Eclipse Event

JEFFERSON CITY – Traffic in central Missouri is expected to be heavier on interstates and major routes on Monday, Aug. 21 as motorists travel to and from the central part of the state to view a unique and rare occurrence – a total solar eclipse.

Hot spots for traffic congestion are expected to be in and around the cities of Jefferson City, Columbia and Hermann as these three cities are considered to be prime viewing locations to see the total eclipse.

For the most part, MoDOT will suspend construction and maintenance work on major routes in central Missouri on Aug. 21 with the exception of the following notable closures:

  • The U.S. Route 54 bridge over Middle River near Fulton – one westbound lane is closed at the bridge.
  • The Route 100 bridge over Berger creek near Hermann – completely closed.
  • The Route O bridge over Crow’s Fork near Fulton – completely closed.

The day of the eclipse, MoDOT will have staff on hand to help address traffic incidents and delays, emergency maintenance situations, as well as help law enforcement agencies with traffic control, if needed.

MoDOT staff will monitor traffic on Interstates 44 and 70 and other major routes. Staff will also monitor traffic signals at key interchanges and intersections, such as the Columbia I-70/U.S. Route 63 Connector, the I-70/U.S. Route 54 interchange in Kingdom City, and the U.S. Route 50/63 (Whitton Expressway)/downtown area in Jefferson City to help ensure traffic flows as smoothly as possible.

Travelers should also note that the Jefferson City Police Department will close the pedestrian walkway on the Missouri River Bridge in Jefferson City from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. for safety and security reasons.

Extreme congestion is expected once the eclipse passes in the afternoon. Viewers of the eclipse should leave early for their viewing location, stay put during the eclipse and then leave later to avoid the heavy congestion immediately after the total eclipse.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep you and other motorists safe on the day of the eclipse:

  • Please exit the highway to view the eclipse.
  • Do not stop along the highway or park on the shoulders to view the eclipse.
  • Turn your headlights on. Do not rely on automatic headlights.
  • Do not use your camera or your smartphone to take pictures of the eclipse while you are driving.
  • Don’t wear your eclipse glasses while driving.
  • Check traffic conditions by visiting the Traveler Information Map at www.modot.org or by calling MoDOT’s customer service center at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (888-275-6636). The toll-free telephone line is answered 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

For more information or for other transportation-related matters, please call 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org/central.


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