This summer’s total solar eclipse is now just 11 days away. The buzz about the eclipse is building, but some of that buzz is a lot of bunk. Myths, rumors, and out and out lies are being circulated, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
Many of the rumors and myths out there have to do with how Idaho’s roads will be affected due to the influx of people.
One claim surrounding the eclipse is the interstate will be turned into a one-way road. That's false. Whatever the configuration the road is today will be the configuration during and after the eclipse.
“We will not change the directions at all for any highway in the state of Idaho,” Vince Trimboli with ITD said.
Myth number two is a little more complicated: semi-trucks will not be allowed on the roadway. This is mostly false. Most commercial traffic will be allowed to travel. However, there will be a “holiday protocol” on all big rigs, which is a restriction on “oversized loads,” like mobile homes on the move.
Any loads exceeding 10' wide, 100' feet long or 14'6" high will not be able to travel on the highways or interstates the days of the eclipse.
The restriction goes into effect on August, 20 at 4 p.m. and ends at dawn on August, 22.
“We are asking truck companies to be advised that Idaho will be crowded and congested,” Trimboli said.
Myth number three: All construction will be suspended during the eclipse. This is somewhat true. Projects that will increase and improve traffic flow will be suspended. Some projects though aren’t going to make a difference.
“Where construction is down to say a lane because of bridge construction or whatever, that's going to remain one lane, but in some places we've done work to actually reopen both lanes,” Trimboli said.
ITD will also have flaggers out in known congested areas like Highway 55 to help improve traffic flow. Trimboli added that people do need to take extra precautions.
“Our message really to people is to be prepared, be patient, be safe, and be firewise when you're out there,” Trimboli said.
And one last thing, all viewing glasses need to be ISO certified.