As totality ends, Oregon's traffic nightmare begins

Traffic heavy following eclipse

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Watch live coverage of KGW Eclipse Day breaking news coverage here for the latest on real-time traffic and weather

With an estimated 1 million people coming to Oregon for Monday's total solar eclipse, the Oregon Department of Transportation has said the result could be the "biggest traffic event in Oregon history."

While it may not have lived up to the pre-eclipse hype, freeway traffic was slow for many drivers heading south to the path of totality.

Minutes after the total eclipse ended, drivers hit the road to try and beat the traffic home. 

Live KGW traffic map

INTERSTATE 5

As of 1 p.m., traffic on Interstate 5 was extremely slow heading north and south of Salem.

The drive time from Salem to Portland was 3 hours, 30 minutes.

Follow @KGWTraffic here

CENTRAL OREGON

As of 1 p.m. Monday, TripCheck showed bumper-to-bumper traffic on U.S. 97 south of Madras and north of Redmond.

Despite warnings from ODOT, drivers parked along at least one Central Oregon highway in anticipation of the eclipse. ODOT warned the tactic could be very dangerous due to the extreme fire danger in the area.

Here's the live image from US 97 at US 26.

Follow Kyle Iboshi for updates from Madras

Traffic headed to the Symbiosis eclipse festival, which began Thursday and was expected to draw 30,000 people, clogged the highway from east of Prineville to the event in the Ochoco National Forest. On Wednesday and Thursday, traffic was backed up for 30 miles. Even by mid-day Saturday, traffic was flowing freely.

Watch: Aerial view of traffic backup

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The long mid-week backup led police and the Oregon Department of Transportation to reroute traffic off the highway for several hours on Thursday before it was reopened that night.

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office estimated 30,000 people arrived in Central Oregon Thursday and around 40,000 people would show up each of the following three days. 

The vast majority of those people are expected to leave Monday and Tuesday.

EASTERN OREGON

In Eastern Oregon, Tripcheck showed some delays in the John Day area on Thursday and Friday. Monday morning, traffic heading in all directions was a bit slower than average, but there were no major incidents reported.

Your pics: Getting ready for the eclipse

OREGON COAST

TripCheck showed traffic was slower than average after the eclipse, but it was stop-and-go traffic near Lincoln City.

Traffic speed on U.S. 101 up and down the coast around noon on Monday was still slower than average, but no major incidents were reported.

Statewide traffic maps from TripCheck

© 2017 KGW-TV


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