DENVER – Thousands of people flocked to Wyoming, northern Colorado, and Nebraska Monday to see the total solar eclipse, which also means that thousands of people will be making their way back into Colorado Monday afternoon.
Traffic Monday morning was a bit heavier than expected, as some last-minute travelers made their way north to see the full eclipse.
Denver7 traffic reporter Jayson Luber says that people should expect double or triple the normal commuter traffic between Denver and Cheyenne this afternoon and through the rush hour as people head back to Colorado.
The Colorado Department of Transportation said Monday it estimated more than 34,000 vehicles had gone to Wyoming over the weekend. “They will all be headed back at the same time. Drive safe!” CDOT said in a tweet.
VIEW: Colorado highway traffic
Peak totality in the Denver area is expected at 11:47 a.m., and minutes earlier or later in Wyoming and Nebraska. The eclipse is expected to end at 1:14 p.m. in Denver.
— Jennifer Kovaleski (@JennKovaleski) August 21, 2017
Luber says traffic will depend on what time people decide to leave their eclipse-viewing site. Will they leave right after peak totality or stay for the full eclipse? Are people staying at their viewing site for another night?
Some of the lesser-traveled highways, including Highway 85 and Highway 287, could prove to be good alternatives should I-25 turn into a parking lot. But others are sure to choose those routes as well.
Ahhhh I just got data back after 4 hours in traffic and 4 more to go back to Colorado. This has been grueling. pic.twitter.com/1xBXuo7syC
— Nicole Brady (@NicoleDenver7) August 21, 2017
Traffic on I-76 wasn’t as bad Monday morning, and could also provide a pressure valve to route people around the metro area.
Pro tip: avoid roadways during anywhere near peak travel times. What was busy will be jam packed. Plan an alternate travel time. #eclipse
— CSP Public Affairs (@CSP_News) August 21, 2017
Stay posted to the Denver7 traffic page for the latest updates throughout Monday afternoon.