Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Photographer 

Eclipse traffic tops 10,000 vehicles Monday


August 24, 2017

It was pretty hard not to notice the increase in traffic through Hot Springs County during eclipse time, but the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) has released numbers that will give an accurate accounting of just how many vehicles there were.

The state, overall, experienced historic traffic volumes on Monday, Aug. 21, the day of the eclipse – 494,000 vehicles, a 63 percent increase.

In Hot Springs County, on WY 120W (Thermopolis to Cody), the five-year average on Wednesday, Aug. 16th is 2,225 cars. This last Wednesday, there were 2,199.

Numbers started creeping up on Thursday when they went from an average of 2,221 to 2,564; Friday went from an average of 2,277 to 2,682. Saturday saw a big jump in traffic with the average being 1,849, jumping to 2,560. Sunday went from 2,076 to 3,115.

The big day, was, of course Monday, when traffic went from an average of 2,089 cars to 7,350 – a 251 percent increase.

US Hwy.20 So. (Worland to Shoshoni) took a couple of days to really get going too, with Wednesday’s five-year average being 3,212. WYDOT says last Wednesday there were 3,371 travelers on the road into or through Thermopolis.

Thursday’s numbers were a little bigger, going from an average of 3,448 to 3,748 for the day. Friday had a significant jump from 3,811 to 4,308.

Sunday was a big day, too, with the average being 3,771 vehicles and WYDOT showing 5,774 cars coming our way in preparation for the big day.

Monday, however, was definitely historic.

The five-year average number of vehicles on that highway on Aug. 21 is 3,445. This Aug. 21 saw 10,215 vehicles, a 229 percent increase in traffic.

But even with all those extra cars, trucks and motorhomes coming and going, there were no major vehicle accidents and while there were plenty of warnings, both verbal and written, regarding speed, there was a very low volume of tickets given out for the five-day span.


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