With an eye on keeping traffic moving and motorists safe, Nebraska officials are restricting oversized semitrailer trucks from using the state’s highways around this month’s total solar eclipse.
Oversized loads that transport heavy equipment and use pilot vehicles are not permitted to travel on state and U.S. highways and Interstate 80 from sunset Aug. 18 to sunrise Aug. 22, said Tom Sands, operations manager for the Nebraska Department of Transportation.
The Aug. 21 eclipse, which is expected to attract nearly a half-million visitors to Nebraska, will lead to heavy traffic on the state’s roads, he said. Heavy traffic is especially likely near a 70-mile-wide path of eclipse totality that runs from the northwest part of the state to the southeast.
“We’re expecting a lot of traffic,” Sands said. “We’re anticipating congestion.”
The path of totality, or 100 percent coverage of the sun by the moon’s shadow, will include such cities as Alliance, Grand Island and Beatrice.
Sands said oversized, wide loads also are banned during heavily traveled holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day. Standard 8-foot-wide semi loads are OK for travel, he said.