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Solar Eclipse Alters Trucking Schedules

by Anna Mischke | Aug 11, 2017

Customer News 081117North America will experience its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918 on August 12th, NASA reports. The moon will completely cover the sun and the area where the total eclipse occurs- called the path of totality- will span 70 miles from South Carolina to Oregon. The total eclipse can be observed for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds in specific areas of totality.

Because of the slated eclipse, effected states are modifying transportation schedules in anticipation of the inflow of prospective heavy traffic due to persons interested in watching the natural phenomenon. Some transport departments have requested trucking companies to limit deliveries or decrease extra-wide loads around the timing of the eclipse while others encourage weight restrictions and rescheduling. Oregon’s DOT has prohibited extra-wide loads from August 18th through the 22nd and Idaho has placed time restrictions on loads exceeding 14 feet and 6 inches high, 10 feet wide, and 100 feet long.

Spokesperson for the Oregon DOT’s Motor Carrier Transportation Divison, David House, said “Having more vehicles on the road than we have had before is going to be a new experience…Because we expect gridlock, we don’t want to add bottlenecks that slow traffic further,” and “some people have been planning this for years. We can’t stop all these people from coming.”

The cost of congestion could be enough for carriers to alter delivery schedules- while others plan on driving as scheduled, saying they have issued their own warnings and rules to drivers surrounding the eclipse.

As around 200 million people living within a day’s drive of the path of totality, the Federal Highway Administration shares safety tips such as driving with headlights on. The first point of contact is at Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 9:05 am PDT with totality beginning at 10:16 am. Partial eclipse will be visible from anywhere in the U.S. for roughly 2 and a half hours according to NASA’s Heliophysics Science Division.

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