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DENVER (CBS4) – Transportation officials in Colorado are continuing to warn about the extreme spikes in traffic that are expected on roadways heading north into Wyoming and Nebraska surrounding Monday’s solar eclipse.

eclipse traffic jam CDOT: Be Ready For 8 To 12 Hour Waits To Get Back Home After Eclipse

(credit: CBS)

There’s also a big worry about traffic after the event is done on Monday afternoon, particularly on Interstate 25 heading south out of Wyoming.

The solar eclipse can be seen in totality as close as Casper, Wyoming, and that means a lot of people will head north in the coming days to see it.

Shailen Bhatt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, said he is even more concerned about when the eclipse is over and everyone heads home to Colorado all at once.

He’s comparing it to having six NFL games end at the same time in the same place. Drivers should be prepared to possibly be in the car for quite a long time.

“If you decide to get in your car and drive north on Monday morning and you don’t have a place to stay (Monday night), if there’s 100,000 vehicles that want to come south on I-25, I-25 moves about 4,000 cars an hour if there’s no crashes. So that is potentially eight to 12 hour queues,” Bhatt said.

csp eclipse 6pkg frame 2241 CDOT: Be Ready For 8 To 12 Hour Waits To Get Back Home After Eclipse

(credit: CBS)

“So you need water, you need a full tank of gas, and you need to be prepared… you can’t throw cigarettes out the window, and I just want people to be safe and to be patient, because this is going to be unprecedented.”

Bhatt said he is also concerned about the Denver metro area to a degree — he’s concerned drivers here might be distracted during the eclipse.

Learn more about how transportation officials are planning for the traffic event, including the Colorado State Patrol’s plans.

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