Which States Have Oversize Freight Restrictions For The 2024 Eclipse?

Semi trucks sit in traffic

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. 

The path of totality — areas that will experience a total eclipse of the sun — will cross into the U.S. in southern Texas and travel through 12 additional states before entering Canada. 

As a huge swath of the country braces for a major surge in tourist traffic, domestic shippers are wondering how the eclipse will affect their freight. Some states in the path of the totality have implemented eclipse-related travel restrictions. 

It’s always stressful when an event out of your control threatens to affect your supply chain. Throughout our six decades in the industry, Anderson Trucking Services (ATS) has helped shippers navigate disruptive events like holidays, severe weather — and yes, even total solar eclipses. 

In this article, we’ll tell you what areas will experience the total eclipse, which states have implemented travel restrictions (and what those restrictions are), how the eclipse will affect shipping, and what shippers like you can do to prepare. 

By the time you’re done with this quick read, you’ll feel confident about prepping your supply chain for the effects of this eclipse and similar events.

What Areas Will Experience the April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse? 

The states in the path of totality will experience a total solar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. This “eclipsing” of the sun completely blocks out the sun in our sky, creating temporary darkness. 

The U.S. portion of the path of totality begins in Texas and will travel through Oklahoma,  Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Small parts of Tennessee and Michigan will also experience the total solar eclipse. 

A map of the path of the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse in America

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in all 48 contiguous states. 

To find the specific time of the eclipse at specific points along the path of totality, use NASA’s interactive eclipse map. This online map features the stages and corresponding times of the eclipse in different areas, a prediction of the corona, comparisons to previous eclipses, and more.

What States Have Implemented Travel Restrictions During The Eclipse? 

As of this article’s publication, 11 states have implemented either travel restrictions or recommendations on and/or around the day of the eclipse, Mon., April 8, 2024. Official restrictions currently only affect overweight (OW) and oversize (OS) shipments.

  • Arkansas: Only OW shipments will be allowed to travel. OS travel will be prohibited throughout the state from Thurs., April 4 through Wed., April 10. 

  • Illinois: No official movement restrictions, but recommends OS/OW shipments plan ahead for increased traffic. 

  • Indiana: The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) recommends all movement of OS/OW loads be completed the day before (Sun., April 7) or day after (Tues., April 9) the total eclipse. INDOT also recommends no travel on Mon., April 8 due to expected high traffic volumes and heavy congestion on state roads. 

  • Kentucky: No official movement restrictions, but recommends awareness of heavy traffic and identified areas anticipated to experience the worst congestion. These areas are Interstate 24 Ohio River Bridge at Paducah, the U.S. 41 Twin Bridges at Henderson, and bridges that connect Interstates 65 and 64 at Louisville.

  • Missouri: Superloads will not be allowed to move on Mon., April 8 in the Southeast District. Single-trip permits over 12'6" wide, over 13'6" overall height, and weighing over 80,000 pounds will not be allowed to move in the Southeast District on April 8. 

  • New York: All OS travel within counties in the path of the eclipse will be restricted beginning at 6 a.m. on Mon., April 8th and continuing to 9 p.m. Tues., April 9th. On the New York Thruway, OS travel will be restricted on I-90 in both directions from Exit 24 in Albany to the Pennsylvania Line and on I-190 starting at 6 a.m. April 8. OS travel may resume half an hour before sunrise on Wed., April 10th.
    • The 34 counties that will be affected by the eclipse and related travel restrictions are: Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Clinton, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Onondaga, Oneida, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Seneca, Steuben, Warren, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates.

  • Ohio: No official statewide movement restrictions, but some cities are restricting OS load movement, including Cleveland. Cleveland will prohibit OS vehicle movement through the city from Mon., April 1 through Mon., April 8.

  • Oklahoma: OS travel will be prohibited in McCurtain County only from Mon., April 8 through Tues., April 9. All other Oklahoma counties are unaffected by this restriction.

  • Pennsylvania: No official movement restrictions, but drivers are encouraged to check this live traffic map before traveling on Mon., April 8.

  • Texas: No permitted travel (OS/OW) will be allowed from 12:01 a.m. Mon., April 8 to 12:01 a.m. Tues., April 9 in counties in the path of the eclipse.
    • The 83 counties that will be affected by the eclipse and related travel restrictions are: Anderson, Atascosa, Bandera, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brown, Burnet, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Coleman, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Coryell, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Dimmit, Edwards, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Franklin, Freestone, Frio, Gillespie, Grayson, Gregg, Hamilton, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Lamar, Lampasas, Leon, Limestone, Llano, Marion, Mason, Maverick, McLennan, McCulloch, Medina, Menard, Milam, Mills, Morris, Navarro, Parker, Rains, Real, Red River, Robertson, Rockwall, San Saba, Smith, Somervell, Sutton, Tarrant, Titus, Travis, Upshur, Uvalde, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Williamson, Wood, and Zavala.

  • Vermont: No OS/OW travel will be allowed on state highways on Mon., April 8. Unless otherwise stated, permits will not be issued for the movement of loads in excess of 108,000 pounds or more than 12 feet wide or more than 100 feet long. Additionally, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that commercial motor vehicle drivers traveling to and through the state on the day of and days surrounding the eclipse consider alternative delivery dates and routes to avoid the expected increase in traffic.

A semi truck bearing an oversize load banner

Related: How To Get Oversized Load Permits for Your Freight (3 Easy Steps)

How Will The Eclipse Affect Freight Shipments? 

In a word: Traffic. 

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) predicts that up to 5 million people will travel to the roughly 115-mile wide path of totality between Texas and Maine. That’s on top of the estimated 31.6 million people who already live in those areas. 

This migration of eclipse-viewers will cause increased traffic, which will inevitably lead to delayed freight shipments. Travel restrictions may also cause delays due to re-routing.

With so many out-of-town visitors on the roads, there will likely be an increase of sudden stops and braking, U-turns, and less overall awareness from drivers who are unfamiliar with the area.

As the eclipse actually takes place, drivers may be even more distracted, also contributing to slow-downs, accidents and stand-stills.

However, the darkness itself should not be a major contributing factor, as the period of total eclipse is only about 4 minutes, depending on where in the path of totality viewers are located. 

Cities directly in the path of totality, including Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, and Niagara Falls,  will likely experience the worst of the expected traffic congestion. 

Shippers with freight traveling in, out, through or near these cities should expect significant slow-downs and potential delays from Sun., April 7 through Tues., April 9 at a minimum. 

Vehicles sit in a nighttime traffic jam

But cities within a short (less than 3-hour) drive of the totality — which include Chicago, Houston, Memphis, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Toronto — will also experience increased vehicle traffic before, during and after the eclipse. 

Your transportation provider should be working in advance of the eclipse to plan for traffic-related delays and travel restrictions, find alternative routes and/or delivery windows, and keep you informed of any necessary changes. 

Related: How Does a Trucking Company Determine Your Shipment’s Route?

What Can Shippers Do to Prepare Their Supply Chains For the Eclipse?

The fact is, it’s hard to eclipse-proof your operations.

As with virtually all events with the potential to disrupt your supply chain, there’s no way to know with certainty how (or even if) the eclipse will affect your shipments.

But that doesn’t mean shippers are totally helpless in the face of this astronomical display.

First, a good rule of thumb: Treat an eclipse the way you would a holiday.

Or, rather: the ripple effect of traffic congestion can spill into the surrounding days, so it’s wise to treat the entire week of April 8, including the preceding weekend, like an extended holiday period. 

What does that mean? Expect delays, plan in advance, be patient, and communicate clearly and often with your transportation provider. 

If you’re worried about how your loads will move during this time — particularly if you’re shipping OS or OW freight in areas under travel restrictions — be sure to discuss your concerns with your provider, if you haven’t already. 

They’ll be able to give you more information about how your specific shipments may be affected. A reliable provider should stay in regular communication with you as the eclipse draws nearer, updating you about any expected delays or changes in plan. 

Related: [Video] Freight Broker Vs. Asset Carrier What Logistics Provider is Right For You?

Will My Shipments Be Affected By Permitted Travel Restrictions?

Ultimately, shipments traveling to, from or through states in the path of totality are the most likely to be delayed by eclipse-related traffic as tourists flood the area. 

These states may have travel restrictions in place during this time, further compounding delays. 

Your transportation provider should be able to plan for these factors in advance and find alternate routes or travel windows to keep your freight moving.

As a shipper, you should expect extra time on any shipments moving the week of the eclipse. 

Try to be patient with your provider and drivers — remember, they’re sitting in traffic so you don’t have to! — and be flexible with your plans wherever possible.

Cars, school buses, and trucks sit in traffic

Now that you understand how the forthcoming total eclipse will impact shipping, your next step is to determine if your shipments will be affected by any state- or city-specific travel restrictions during that time. 

These restrictions primarily apply to OS/OW freight. If you’re not sure whether your shipment will need OS or OW permitting, check out our article on Legal Freight Limits. It’ll break down the typical weight, length, width, and height dimensions that qualify a load as over-dimensional. 

Specific permitting requirements vary by state, county and township, so for a definitive answer about your freight, reach out to your transportation provider or give us a call at ATS. 

We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about OS/OW shipments, shipping during the eclipse, or any other transportation-industry topics.

Tags: Safety, Heavy Haul Shipping, Route Planning, Oversized Shipping, Heavy Haul Trucking, Over Dimensional Shipping, HH, Supply Chain Tips

Michael Carlson

Written by Michael Carlson

Michael Carlson is a safety manager with ATS. He assists drivers, as well as the operations team, adhere to safety protocols. Before coming to ATS, he had years of hands-on safety experience. He worked for the railroad for a while before starting a career driving, where he hauled hazmat freight for eight years. Michael loves working for safety at ATS because he believes in the program. ATS has a great safety team and it takes each and every person to make the roads and the company safer.

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