Today’s Pickup: Holy traffic jam! Eclipse impact felt on highways

(Photo: Idaho Department of Transportation)

(Photo: Idaho Department of Transportation)

Good day,

It’s finally here. Eclipse day. And as many have predicted, traffic around the country is clogging the highways, causing delays.

Weather.com has a nice state-by-state roundup of the situation. In Oregon, the situation grew bad enough on Sunday with more than 100,000 people descending on Madras that the Oregon National Guard had to be called in.

In Idaho, most roads were seeing 30-40% more traffic volume than this time last year. Wyoming has seen more than 131,000 more vehicles already over its five-year average and Nebraska is expecting up to 500,000 eclipse viewers.

Illinois officials are expecting up to 200,000 people to visit the state’s prime viewing areas with Interstate 57, Illinois 13 and U.S. 51 corridors to be the most traveled.

Tennessee and South Carolina are among the states expecting very heavy traffic due to as many as 1 million people visiting each location for the spectacle.

For more information on the eclipse, including expected traffic conditions, viewing conditions, weather forecast and the economic impact of the eclipse, visit FreightWaves Eclipse section.

Did you know?

When the U.S. Interstate system was created, north-south highways were given odd number, with lower numbers on the West Coast and larger numbers on the East Coast. East-west highways have even numbers with the lowest in the South and increasing as you go North.

Quotable:

“We need to get taxes done between now and Thanksgiving. We need to get infrastructure going. As soon [as] tax comes out of the House and goes to the Senate, we'll put infrastructure in the House.”

- Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council

In other news:

Round 1 of NAFTA wraps up

The first round of talks to revamp NAFTA have wrapped up and divisions have emerged over the U.S. position that auto parts should be sourced from the U.S. (Wall Street Journal)

Infrastructure plan waits for tax reform

A top aide to President Trump has said that any effort to create a $1 trillion infrastructure program will come only after tax reform is complete. (AASHTO)

After the gas tax

Pennsylvania is among many states that are starting to worry where tax revenue will come from as more people purchase electric cars. (Sharon Herald)

Staying connected

A Bank of America survey has found that Generation Z (those aged 13-17) are so addicted to their mobile devices, that 28% would give up their friends or money to stay connected. (American Trucker)

Firm targets hackers

Hackers are increasingly targeting logistics and supply chain companies, but there are a growing number of firms seeking to protect those companies. (BBC)

Final Thoughts

As trucks become more tech-heavy, and the need for technicians to diagnose them grows, a survey from Bank of America might provide some hope. The survey found that Generation Z (age 13-17) are obsessed with their mobile devices, with 80% willing to give up TV and 28% giving up their friends. Trucking may have a solution to its driver- and tech-shortage if it can tap into these obsessions.

Hammer down everyone!