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Heavy traffic coming back in Utah after eclipse

IDAHO FALLS – Eclipse traffic makes Memorial Day and Fourth of July holiday traffic look light.  Department workers are trying to keep an eye on traffic in northern Utah before it becomes a serious problem.

Like a lot of people, Mat Allred wanted to see the total eclipse in Idaho, then head back to Utah as soon as they could to try and beat the traffic.  So, they left five minutes after it hit totality.  As you may have guessed, no, they didn’t beat the traffic at all.  “We maybe had five minutes of clear driving.”  He and his family decided to spend the rest of the day in Idaho, then come back in the evening.

(Photo Credit: Bruce Walton)

Officials with UDOT say there were a quarter million cars that left Utah, heading to either Idaho or Wyoming.  What do we see on a typical weekend?  Traffic Mobility Engineer Grant Farnsworth says, “Normally [we see] 210 thousand.”  Where did those vehicles go, specifically?  Farnsworth says, “We had 34 thousand that were leaving Utah to Idaho and six thousand vehicles that were leaving to Wyoming along I-80.”

The good news is that Farnsworth believes most of the severe log jams will happen in Idaho.  “We have a few counter in Tremonton and you can see the ‘tsunami’ of volume coming back.”  They had some concerns about the I-15 and I-84 junction, however, “We don’t have construction going on there.  We think that it will be able to handle the influx of volume,” he says.