State suspends Atlanta road construction during eclipse

With a solar eclipse expected to put tens of thousands of motorists on the road to the north Georgia mountains, state transportation officials have decided to give construction in metro Atlanta a break.

Today the Georgia Department of Transportation announced it will suspend construction-related activities in the Atlanta area from noon to 7 p.m. Monday.

“Safety is always a primary concern,” said metro Atlanta District Engineer Kathy Zahul. “Due to the volume of motorists that will be traveling to view the eclipse, we will treat that day similar to a holiday travel weekend.”

GDOT estimates that 53,000 motorists will travel to northeast Georgia to watch the full eclipse Monday afternoon. It already has announced it is suspending construction in several northeastern counties.

With so many people heading to the mountains, Atlanta could see lighter-than-normal traffic. But GDOT still worries the eclipse could cause problems – especially from distracted drivers.

Zahul urged motorists to avoid driving during the eclipse, if possible.

For those traveling to view the eclipse, GDOT offers some tips:

*Don’t park along the shoulder of a road, highway or interstate to view it.

*Leave the road and park in a safe area away from traffic.

*Turn on headlights during the eclipse, if driving.

*Don’t look at the sun and don’t wear opaque sun glasses while driving.

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