BEND – While the eclipse may be months away (), ODOT highway managers are already planning how to keep traffic moving on US97.
Much of Central Oregon, about Madras through Prineville and Mitchell, will be in the path of totality during the eclipse. Those communities will be magnets for eclipse visitors. The population of the Tri-County area (Deschutes, Jefferson and Cook) is expected to double during the eclipse event and that means many more travelers are expected to be visiting the area…and driving on local highways.
In anticipation of a much greater volume of traffic locally on US97 during the event period, ODOT is staffing up. “It’s our intent to keep the highways open”, says Jim Scholtes, Assistant District Manager in the Bend area. He adds, “We’ll be having an all – hands effort with resources spread out across the highway system to handle any trouble that may arise” with the primary mission of keeping the HWYs flowing.
ODOT is advising motorists to be prepared for adverse driving conditions and to expect the unexpected as well as possible delays. Please plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get to your intended destination.