4 p.m. update: The eclipse is over and the return trip is under way. Traffic is starting to pick up on I-85 coming in from South Carolina.
Meanwhile, traffic in metro Atlanta remains light in most places. GDOT says the region could see a lighter-than-usual afternoon commute because an estimated 53,000 motorists were expected to head to out of town for the eclipse.
But this is Atlanta. Don’t bet your life on it.
12:20 p.m. update: Channel 2 Action News reports that traffic is heavy on U.S. 19 north through Lumpkin County. Here’s a photo posted by Berndt Petersen:
Original post: The Georgia Department of Transportation reports heavier-than-usual traffic on northbound I-85 and I-985 as Peach State residents prepare to watch today’s full solar eclipse.
The department estimates that 53,000 motorists are headed to northeast Georgia, which lies in the path of the full eclipse. It has suspended construction-related lane closures in Atlanta and in several north Georgia counties today in anticipation of heavier traffic.
GDOT advises motorists to turn on headlights as they drive during the eclipse. It also advises not to wear opaque glasses or try to watch the eclipse while driving.