ITD gearing up for eclipse chasers
Preparations at Headquarters and in the districts are well underway for the 2017 total solar eclipse.
Officials throughout ITD are planning for the event, coordinating with state and local governments and other community leaders on preparations.
ITD wants to make viewing of the solar eclipse in Idaho a safe and enjoyable experience for residents and visitors alike by keeping highways open and traffic flowing.
In case you haven’t heard, the eclipse is a big deal. The moon will fully obscure the sun for more than two minutes, completely shadowing a narrow band of the lower 48 for the first time since 1979.
Southern Idaho lies in the center of that band, which is referred to as the “Path of Totality.” The moon’s umbra shadow will pass over the countryside through this band.
ITD is developing an incident-response plan, identifying locations that may become bottlenecks, and developing traffic-control plans. Officials tentatively anticipate they may suspend highway construction Friday through Wednesday.
Make your plans – and support ITD in making its preparations. The agency aims to provide the level of service expected of the best transportation department in the country.
To catch the excitement of this major celestial event, see the projected path of the shadow as it passes over Idaho https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4515.
The state’s typically sunny August weather means there is a good chance there will be few, if any, clouds in the sky when the eclipse occurs.
The point isn’t lost on eclipse chasers, who have booked up motels, campgrounds and even homes in the region to view the “totality.”
They also like the fact that Idaho is situated at a high altitude, closer to the sky than many parts of the country. Estimates are for tens and even hundreds of thousands of people to descend on Idaho — some projections put the migration at more than one million.
The event begins in the late morning of August. 21 in Weiser and ends in the early afternoon in Driggs. Other towns in the center of the path are Weiser, Mackay, Mud Lake, Rigby, Rexburg and Victor. Area residents should buckle up.
If you unavailable, uninterested or have other plans August 21 and intend to catch the next total solar eclipse in Idaho, prepare to wait for 152 years.