The upcoming solar eclipse that will darken skies across Illinois will only last for a few minutes, but the Illinois Department of Transportation is putting a lot of planning into their approach to the cosmic event.
According to a press release issued by the agency, over 200,000 people are expected to visit southern Illinois, which will experience a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation is proud to be one of several state agencies teaming up to make sure that Illinois is prepared to host this historic occasion,” Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said. “We also need the public to do its part. By following a few basic guidelines, the eclipse can be safe and exciting for everyone.”
According to the agency, truck traffic in areas impacted by the eclipse will not be restricted. Lane closures on IDOT projects downstate will be temporarily lifted to help accommodate traffic, the agency said, and digital signs will be used to convey special travel information.
The agency also asked motorists not to pull over to view the eclipse on the sides of highways, and asked drivers not to wear special viewing glasses during the eclipse. They also encouraged drivers to keep an eye out for pedestrian and bike traffic, which could spike in the hours around the eclipse.
Students in Carbondale, one of the state’s biggest tourist destinations for the eclipse, won’t have school on Aug. 21, and non-essential state workers in Jefferson City, MO have already been told not to come to work on that day.