KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) highway engineers and planning agencies say perhaps the biggest shock of the August 21 total solar eclipse was the fact that so many people raced to the roads once the total eclipse ended.
Even though numbers for attendance were below anticipated for the eclipse, the traffic count showed a jump in numbers as people headed home.
A section of the Pennyrile Parkway north of Hopkinsville normally carries just over 14,800 vehicles per day, However, on August 21 it held 23,927 vehicles.
Other significant numbers include:
- U.S. 641 – Marshall County +43 percent
- U.S. 62 – Grayson County +123 percent
- I-65 – Warren County +44 percent
- I-24 – Lyon County +37 percent
- U.S. 68 – Logan County +122 percent
KYTC District 2 chief engineer Wade Clements said even with the large number of visitors there to witness the total eclipse, things went pretty well.
"Most people came prepared. Over the last six months, we had sent dozens of news releases and advisories to let travelers know that traffic congestion and delays would be likely due to the high volume of traffic that was anticipated for the event," Clements said. "Our Kentucky Transportation Cabinet staff monitored traffic and worked with Kentucky State Police and other agencies to respond quickly when there was a traffic crash obstructing or slowing traffic."
Clements noted that it's always difficult trying to predict human behavior on a mass scale. He gave the eclipse chasers high marks for their patience.