ST. LOUIS - The countdown is on and the Great American Eclipse is just days away. MODOT and IDOT are warning drivers to be prepared. They're expecting lots of traffic on Monday and officials are gearing up for the crowds.
As drivers head to places to get the best views of the eclipse on Monday, MODOT is canceling road construction projects on Monday to help with the high volume of travelers. Modot will be monitoring their traffic cameras and adjusting stop lights as needed to keep traffic running smoothly. They suggest to leave early, stay put when you arrive, and leave later, not right after totality.
On the Illinois side, IDOT is expecting Interstate 57, Illinois 13 and U.S. 51 to be the most heavily traveled roads. For that reason, IDOT has also chosen to postpone some construction lane closures until Tuesday.
Along with closing roads, both MODOT and IDOT are recommending drivers to not park along the shoulder of the roads to view the eclipse.
"The more people that can stay and watch the second half of the eclipse and stay off the roads, the better, and then let that filter out in a slow pace. That would help the congestion after the totality happens. So the arrival won`t be as bad as when everybody exits at the same time," said Karen Hargadine, with the Total Solar Task Force.
St. Louis is positioned in the premier location for viewing the solar eclipse and authorities are recommending that drivers try and arrive to your destination as early as possible.
Join FOX2 and News 11, along with CBS Radio and the St. Louis County Parks, for the Great American Eclipse Viewing party on Monday, August 21st, at Jefferson Barracks Park. Gates open at 9 am in the morning.
All cars must be parked by 12:45 pm. The event includes eight food trucks and live music. Plus, our own Chris Higgins and Mandy Murphey are hosting the event. Just bring your glasses, sunscreen, blankets and chairs!
FOX 2 and KPLR 11 co-host the Great American Eclipse Viewing
Venue: Jefferson Barracks Park, south St. Louis County
Eight Food trucks, live music and more!
9:00 am Gates Open for parking
11:00 am Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
11:15 am USPS will unveil a new stamp dedicated to the eclipse (more info here)
11:49 am Moon begins crossing the Sun
12:45 pm Admittance into the park will cease to ensure everyone in the park can experience the eclipse
12:50 pm Sun is more than half covered
1:17:34 pm Totality begins
1:18:20 pm Maximum totality
1:19:07 pm Totality ends
1:45 pm Sun is more than half covered
2:44 pm Moon finishes eclipsing the Sun