Plan ahead to get your best viewing and avoid traffic congestion
August 14, 2017 (Lincoln, Neb.) — This summer, citizens and travelers throughout a large portion of
Nebraska will have the chance to see a rare celestial event – a total solar eclipse.
On August 21, 2017, the moon will block out the sun’s light, causing a total solar eclipse across
approximately 468.4 miles of Nebraska from the border with Wyoming to Lincoln, Beatrice and
Falls City. An influx of out-of-state visitors is also expected to come to Nebraska to witness the event.
Nebraskans should make plans early to determine where they will view the eclipse, where they will stay
and how best to avoid the extra traffic congestion.
“As Nebraska is a prime viewing location, we all anticipate large crowds, which may cause heavy traffic
on Nebraska interstates and highways the day of the solar eclipse. As many local communities have
planned weekend events, large crowds may be possible over the weekend leading up to the actual day
of the eclipse,” said Nebraska Department of Transportation Director Kyle Schneweis. “If you are
interested in seeing the eclipse, we recommend planning well in advance so you can avoid the
Nebraska will be one of 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina to experience the path of the
August 21st total solar eclipse. Approximately 200 million people — a little less than two-thirds of our
nation’s population — will be within a day’s drive of the path of the eclipse.
Please follow these tips to drive safely on the day of the solar eclipse:
- Don’t stop along the interstate or park on the shoulder during the event.
- Exit the highway to a safe location to view and/or photograph the eclipse.
- Don’t take photographs while driving!
- Don’t try to wear opaque eclipse glasses while operating a vehicle.
- Turn your headlights on — do not rely on your automatic headlights when the eclipse blocks out
- Watch out for pedestrians along smaller roads. People may be randomly parking and walking
alongside the roadside in the hours around the eclipse to get the best view.
- Prepare for extra congestion, especially on the interstates in the eclipse’s path, on the day before,
day of, and day after the eclipse.
- Check traffic conditions on www.511.nebraska.gov or through the Nebraska 511 app available for
download for Android and Apple devices.
A travel restriction will be in place around the dates of the solar eclipse. Oversized-loads will not be
able to travel on Nebraska highways and Interstate 80 from sunset August 18 until sunrise on August 22.
For more information on travel in Nebraska and optimal viewing locations, please visit
safety tips at http://dot.nebraska.gov/news-media/eclipse/. For information on the solar eclipse, its path
and how to view it with proper safety glasses or other techniques, visit the NASA website at