Heavy traffic expected on Utah roads with solar eclipse and fall break travel

Oct 13, 2023, 3:26 PM | Updated: 3:28 pm

FILE: Traffic backs up at the entrance to Arches National Park. (National Park Service/Twitter)...

FILE: Traffic backs up at the entrance to Arches National Park. (National Park Service/Twitter)

(National Park Service/Twitter)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation warned of expected traffic delays on central and southern Utah’s highways because of the solar eclipse.

A release from UDOT stated, “Richfield is one of the few cities nationwide in the direct path of the eclipse, and at least 300,000 visitors are expected to flock to central Utah to watch when it reaches maximum obscurity at 10:28 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.”

The heaviest traffic is expected in the Richfield and Mexican Hat areas but drivers should expect delays on several central Utah routes, including Interstate 15, Interstate 70, U.S. 89 and state Route 191. Heavy traffic delays are expected from Friday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 15.

The University of Utah, Southern Utah University, and 23 school districts across the state will also be on fall break which will also add to increased traffic.

UDOT encouraged eclipse watchers to stay an extra day if possible to avoid what traffic engineers expect to be several hours of delays directly after the eclipse.

UDOT offered the following tips to stay safe:

  • Do not park on the shoulder or in the road to watch the eclipse
  • Pay attention and watch for pedestrians who will be out viewing the eclipse
  • Plan ahead and bring food, water, and fuel

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Heavy traffic expected on Utah roads with solar eclipse and fall break travel