Georgia eclipse traffic: GDOT’s response

Channel 2 Action News reported that traffic was heavy on U.S. 19 north through Lumpkin County Monday afternoon.

As we reported Tuesday, many Atlantans driving back from eclipse watching in north Georgia or South Carolina found themselves stuck in heavy traffic Monday evening.

The Georgia Department of Transportation had suspended construction-related road closures in parts of north Georgia and in Atlanta in anticipation of traffic problems. Nonetheless, some motorists reported being stuck in traffic for hours on their return trip.

Katie Strickland, GDOT’s communication officer for the northeast region, provided some perspective in an e-mail to me this morning. She said the district on Monday saw a 16 percent increase in vehicles on I-85 north of Pleasant Hill Road. That meant 137,000 vehicles on the road.

“Monday’s solar eclipse was exciting and we took steps to make sure everyone had the chance to experience it,” Strickland said.

“Daytime congestion was made worse by two accidents on I-85 in Jackson County,” she said. “We hope the thrill of the eclipse wasn’t spoiled by traffic. We hope drivers use our app to know before they go.”

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