Wyoming eclipse traffic update
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
August 21, 2017
Wyoming traffic counts statewide increased by more than 27 percent compared to the five-year average for the third Sunday in August as the Aug. 21 solar eclipse nears.
Traffic counts increased by more than 217,000 vehicles statewide when looking at the five-year average with the most traffic increases in the central, northwestern, western and southern parts of the state.
The counties that saw the largest increases in traffic on Sunday were Laramie at 44,794 more vehicles, Teton at 33,087 more vehicles and Natrona at 11,166 more vehicles, figures from Wyoming Department of Transportation’s traffic counters indicated.
Laramie County also had 12,174 more vehicles on Saturday, 2,542 on Friday, 5,175 on Thursday and 2,780 on Wednesday, figures indicated.
Teton County had 17,755 more vehicles on Saturday, 13,558 on Friday, 12,157 on Thursday and 10,410 on Wednesday.
Natrona County had 4,465 more vehicles on Saturday, 947 on Friday, 1,083 on Thursday and less than 1,688 on Wednesday, figures indicated.
The other counties that had significant increases included Fremont at 19,456 more vehicles, Converse at 19,394 more vehicles, Carbon at 10,670 more vehicles and Sweetwater at 10,591 more vehicles.
Although WYDOT can’t say for sure that the increase is the result of the eclipse, it is a good indicator it’s the result of the solar event. The increases don’t consider vehicles that pass the same spot multiple times a day, like commuter vehicles or local delivery vehicles. The traffic counts also don’t reflect all traffic movement in the state as all roads don’t have counters.
Traffic again increased on US 287 south of Tie Siding near the Colorado border. Sunday’s figures had increases at 88 percent (4,877 more vehicles). Traffic has steadily increased on that road over the past few days with Wednesday and Thursday’s figures showing a more than 40 percent increase, Friday’s around 60 percent and Saturday’s at 85 percent, WYDOT figures showed.
North of Laramie on US 30-287 north of WYO 34, traffic increased by 214 percent on Sunday (2,527 more vehicles). On Saturday, traffic increased 107 percent (11,146 more vehicles). On US 30-287 south of WYO 34 near Laramie, traffic increased by 145 percent on Sunday (2,804 more vehicles). On Saturday, traffic increased by 78 percent (1,298 more vehicles).
Also in the southern part of the state, traffic on US 85 south of LaGrange increased by almost 150 percent (3,613 more vehicles) on Sunday. On Saturday traffic increased by 63 percent, Friday by 50 percent, Thursday by 40 percent and Wednesday by 36 percent.
Traffic also continued to increase in the northwestern part of the state. On US 287 east of WYO 28 and Lander, traffic increased by 119 percent (1,418 more vehicles) on Sunday. On Saturday, traffic increased by 158 percent (1,685 more vehicles), Friday by 81 percent, Thursday by 45 percent and Wednesday, figures showed.
Traffic continued to increase locally in several spots. Those areas include Jackson, Afton, Etna and Moran Junction along US 89, 189 and 191, which are high-volume roads in the state.
Traffic counts for US 89 south of Etna increased by about 49 percent (2,346 more vehicles), figures indicated. On US 26-89-189-191 south of Kelly near Jackson, traffic increased by almost 40 percent on Sunday (5,304 more vehicles).
Some other areas in the northwestern part of the state where traffic continued to increase included:
• US 89-191-187 north of Moran Junction north of Jackson - 60 percent (2,797 more vehicles)
• US 89-191-187 south of Moran Junction near Jackson - 52 percent (2,761 more vehicles)
• US 89-191-187 near Colter Bay near the Grand Teton National Park - 30 percent (1,327 more vehicles)
• US 189 north of Lazeart Junction near Evanston - 130 percent (1,448 more vehicles) – On Saturday, traffic increased by 100 percent (1,181 more vehicles), Friday by 48 percent (710 more vehicles), Thursday by 22 percent (309 more vehicles) and Wednesday by 18 percent (244 more vehicles)
• US 89 south of Afton - 40 percent (1,138 more vehicles)
• US 189-191 at Teton National Park - 32 percent (756 more vehicles)
Traffic along Interstate 80 also still had some increases on Sunday, but not has high as they were on Saturday.
East of Evanston, traffic increased by 23 percent (3,991 more vehicles). West of Laramie on I-80, traffic increased by 11 percent (1,775 more vehicles). West of Rawlins on I-80, traffic increased by 11 percent (1,820 more vehicles). East of Little America on I-80, traffic increased by 12 percent (2,037 more vehicles), and west of Green River, traffic increased by 10 percent (1,797 more vehicles).
Along I-25, traffic increased dramatically on Sunday with some areas having increases of more than 100 percent. At the Colorado border, traffic increased by almost 60 percent (14,739 more vehicles). North of Horse Creek, traffic increased by 121 percent (15,931 more vehicles), which is higher than Saturday’s figure of 64 percent of (7,305 more vehicles). At Central Avenue, traffic increased by only by 79 percent (14,691 more vehicles), which is higher than Saturday’s figure of 23 percent (4,511 more vehicles).
Traffic on parts of I-90 in northern Wyoming also increased more than in previous days. Those increases were between 10 and 20 percent.