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State roads begin to see slowdown morning of solar eclipse

Cars lined up in traffic coming into Greenville, Maine around noon on Monday April 8, 2024.
Esta Pratt-Kielley
Maine Public
Cars lined up in traffic coming into Greenville, Maine around noon on Monday April 8, 2024.

As thousands of eclipse-watchers made their way home Monday, traffic delays were seen around the state.

Paul Merrill with the department of transportation says Route 201 going south from Jackman saw significant slowdowns, with delays of three hours before 5 p.m.

"That's a pretty long delay, especially for April, Monday in Maine. And we know it's because people were up there experienced the eclipse got back in their cars started to hit home. And that created some some traffic backups and bottlenecks," he said.

Merrill said he expects slowdowns to affect other parts of the state, and traffic may increase on the interstate later this evening.

Merills said earlier on Monday, he started seeing slowdowns around 10:30 a.m., mainly on state roads. There were between 30 and 45 minute delays on roads headed to the western parts of the state and around Moosehead Lake.

Merrill cautioned drivers to not stop on the shoulder for safety reasons, and because they could get stuck in the mud.

Kaitlyn Budion is Maine Public’s Bangor correspondent, joining the reporting team after several years working in print journalism.

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