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Travel Impacts of the April 8 Eclipse

Travel Impacts of the April 8 Eclipse

Though the upper northwest corner of Pennsylvania is the only part of the state that will be directly in the path of the total solar eclipse crossing North America on April 8, travel impacts may be significant, and PMTA members are encouraged to plan ahead. The state has released plans for managing the unexpected number of visitors and their impact on traffic in the region.

While most of Pennsylvania will experience 90-99% coverage of the sun by the moon’s shadow, Crawford and Erie counties as well as portions of Mercer and Warren counties will see total coverage of the sun at approximately 3:16 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. The eclipse will conclude around 4:30 p.m.

More than 200,000 people are expected to make the journey to the City of Erie alone to experience the event. As a result, unusual travel patterns and volume may lead to unexpected challenges on the road throughout the state during the day.

State agencies are offering the following resources:

  • PennDOT has developed an event-specific 511PA page to assist travelers to the Erie area during the high traffic period to see various suggested routes:
  • The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will be keeping all lanes of traffic open heading to and from Erie on I-79 via the Cranberry Interchange (Exit #28) and will add additional maintenance personnel in the event of an emergency.
  • The Pennsylvania State Police will remove disabled vehicles from interstates in northwestern PA and post troopers at each exit to keep traffic moving. They will also direct people gathering at rest stops to view the eclipse elsewhere.

Stay tuned to state and local news -- as well as 511PA -- for updates. 


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