TxDOT: Expect heavy traffic before, after eclipse

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As the total solar eclipse draws closer, Texas prepares to accept an influx of in- and out-of-state visitors who will travel into the path of totality.

Austin hotels are sitting at around 83 percent capacity, and Waco expects to bring in around $13 million from lodging alone.

ECLIPSE: Texoma's official guide to the total solar eclipse

Due to the increased tourism, the Texas Department of Transportation has issued a statement warning drivers to expect heavy traffic along I-35, I-44 and US-287 before and after the eclipse on Monday, April 8.

Near Dallas, TxDOT expects traffic to be similar to the lines of cars waiting to leave the city after a game at AT&T Stadium.

The department encourages drivers to plan ahead for possible delays and allow themselves extra time to get to and from destinations during the eclipse.

Additionally, TxDOT offers these other safety tips:

Expect drivers to suddenly stop, and be aware of distracted pedestrians looking at the sky. Keep your headlights on while driving, even during the day. Do not wear eclipse glasses while driving.

TxDOT stresses that drivers who want to view the eclipse should pull into a safe parking area before donning eclipse glasses and looking at the sky. Drivers should not pull over to the shoulder or stop on the highway to view the eclipse.

Texas has rest areas and travel centers throughout the state for drivers to park and safely view the eclipse during totality if necessary.

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