IU Police ready for eclipse day visitors and anticipated traffic

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — The long-anticipated eclipse day is finally here, and the IU Police Department is putting the finishing touches on security and traffic plans ahead of the major event, that is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of people to the Bloomington area.

“We’re excited to have so many people visiting the Bloomington area, specifically Memorial Stadium,” IU Police and Public Safety Public Information Officer Hannah Skibba said Monday morning. “Standards are going to look the same as a Saturday football game.”

Excited eclipse watchers heading to Memorial Stadium for IU’s Hoosier Cosmic Celebration are reminded of the stadium’s “clear bag policy.”

“We’re excited to see something different and ready,” Skibba said. “There’s going to be some that probably have a lot more fun than usual football Saturday.”

Leading up to the eclipse, state officials have urged those traveling to stay late at their eclipse viewing spots in order to get traffic out smoothly. IU Police hope to eclipse fans out of Memorial Stadium and back hope as smooth as they can.

“We are prepared for a lot more vehicular traffic than what we’re used to on a normal football Saturday,” Skibba said. “We have officers staged at every major intersection right around the athletic complex so that we can help kind of alleviate some of the traffic issues as they come out instead of being reactive to things.”

With Indiana University in the heart of totality, many students won’t have to travel far to find eclipse events.

“As many vehicles as we can get off of the roadway today, it’s going to be the best,” Skibba said. “So if you’re already on campus, you’ve got the perfect place to view the eclipse. So walk with a friend over and we hope that everybody has a really fun day here in Bloomington.”

The Hoosier Cosmic Celebration begins at 1 p.m. on Monday at Memorial Stadium. The event will feature singer and actress Janelle Monáe, actor William Shatner, and Mae Jemison as well as food and entertainment. Those attending the celebration will also have a chance to get an up-close look at an actual Blue Origin space capsule.

The moon will start to cover the sun starting at 1:49 p.m. Bloomington will enter totality, or the moment when the moon completely covers the sun, at 3:04 p.m. and it will last for four minutes and two seconds. The sun will go completely uncovered at 4:26 p.m.