Traffic jam hits 9th day; no end in sight

August 23, 2010

Traffic jam hits 9th day; no end in sight

A huge traffic snarl in China has slowed cars and trucks carrying coal from inner Mongolia to a crawl for a ninth day near Beijing. The traffic jam, composed mainly of  trucks bound for Beijing, are backed up for 62 miles because of heavy traffic, road works and break-downs.

Cars and trucks have been slowed to a crawl since the 14th of August on the National Expressway 110, which is also known as the G110, the major route from Beijing to Zhangjiakou, Xinhua News reported.

Residents from communities alongside the expressway have seen opportunity in the traffic slowdown, setting up food and drink kiosks for the drivers. The drivers have complained that locals are over charging them for food and drink while they are stuck. There has been a boom in road building in China in recent years but vehicle use has soared at the same time.
The stalled traffic stretches between Jining in Inner Mongolia and Huai’an in Hebei province, north-west of Beijing, said the Global Times.

“Insufficient traffic capacity on the National Expressway 110 caused by maintenance construction since August 19 is the major cause of the congestion,” a Beijing Traffic Management Bureau spokesman told the Global Times.
The road works which are obstructing traffic are necessary to repair damage caused by an increase in cargo trucks using the highway, the state-run newspaper said.

Britain’s Sky News reported that the snarls have been commonplace since May as a result of a spike in the number of trucks using the roads, with the daily peak reaching about 17,000. Approximately 400 police officers are patrolling the road 24 hours a day in order to maintain the peace. The construction is not expected to be finished until mid-September.

Publisher: Salient News