How will the eclipse affect Atlanta and north Georgia traffic?

So you're thinking about driving to north Georgia or elsewhere to catch a glimpse of the full solar eclipse? Or you're wondering what effect it will have on Atlanta traffic? Here's what you need to know.

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The eclipse: On the afternoon of Aug. 21, the moon will pass between the sun and Earth, creating a 60- to 70-mile-wide path where the moon will totally block the sun. That path will pass through northeast Georgia, though people in metro Atlanta will experience a partial eclipse.

Traffic: An estimated 53,000 drivers will travel to northeast Georgia to catch the eclipse. As a result, Atlantans who stay behind may see decreased rush-hour traffic. But some north Georgia highways – especially U.S. 441 and U.S. 76 – may see far more traffic than they usually do, so expect delays.

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The state's response: Local police and the Georgia Department of Transportation are working together to handle the increased traffic. GDOT will restrict construction-related lane closures in areas affected by the eclipse – namely Rabun, White, Habersham, Towns and Union counties. The agency also will send additional HERO and CHAMP trucks to the region to assist motorists who have problems.

What to do: GDOT advises motorists to expect delays if they're driving to see the eclipse. It also offers a few tips: Don't park on the shoulder of the road. Park in a safe area away from traffic. Turn on headlights if you're driving during the eclipse. Don't look at the sun while driving. And don't wear those special shades while driving.

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The AJC's David Wickert keeps you updated on the latest in what's happening with transportation in metro Atlanta and Georgia. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

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