AARoads Forum

National Boards => General Highway Talk => Topic started by: andrepoiy on May 14, 2021, 03:12:17 PM

Title: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: andrepoiy on May 14, 2021, 03:12:17 PM
Today I heard on the news about a collision that closed all lanes of Highway 401 westbound at Highway 427, and I was surprised to hear where the backup starts - 13 km away. As of now, it's been 3 hours since the collision occurred and rush hour has started.

So perhaps this thread would be a nice place to document very long traffic jams due to certain events on the road.

(https://i.imgur.com/hfk2THC.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/VPuxi8c.png)


EDIT: 2 hours later, they opened up one lane, but now the backup is 18 km long.

(https://i.imgur.com/OuxYcm3.png)
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: wanderer2575 on May 14, 2021, 03:16:54 PM
One wrong move on westbound I-96 in the Novi/Wixom area during evening rush hour can back up traffic for several miles.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: ozarkman417 on May 14, 2021, 03:18:07 PM
The Hernando DeSoto bridge (I-40 over the Mississippi)'s ongoing closure has caused backups for many miles in recent days.

Aerial View (https://www.reddit.com/r/memphis/comments/nb369o/in_case_anyone_is_curious_how_backed_up_i40_is/) of the backup via reddit user u/Flying_pharmacist

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51174315357_a8725f97f8.jpg)
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: jmacswimmer on May 14, 2021, 03:27:58 PM
I still have this screenshot saved from September 2019 - I-95 between DC & Baltimore had a crash one afternoon during rush hour, and it jammed up* not only I-95 but parallel US 29, US 1, MD 295 and even perpendicular MD 32 & MD 100.

*jammed up beyond their normal level of rush-hour congestion, anyway :ded:

(https://i.ibb.co/GtcSy19/95.jpg) (https://ibb.co/RBzwfMN)
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: Max Rockatansky on May 14, 2021, 03:31:10 PM
Anything on I-5 between CA 138 and CA 126 tends to cause big traffic bottlenecks given there is no viable alternatives. 
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: sprjus4 on May 14, 2021, 03:31:42 PM
I still have this screenshot saved from September 2019 - I-95 between DC & Baltimore had a crash one afternoon during rush hour, and it jammed up* not only I-95 but parallel US 29, US 1, MD 295 and even perpendicular MD 32 & MD 100.

*jammed up beyond their normal level of rush-hour congestion, anyway :ded:

(https://i.ibb.co/GtcSy19/95.jpg) (https://ibb.co/RBzwfMN)
That just looks like a normal Friday afternoon  :spin:

Well, if you were talking about I-95 in Virginia.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: frankenroad on May 14, 2021, 03:38:28 PM
I still have this screenshot saved from September 2019 - I-95 between DC & Baltimore had a crash one afternoon during rush hour, and it jammed up* not only I-95 but parallel US 29, US 1, MD 295 and even perpendicular MD 32 & MD 100.

*jammed up beyond their normal level of rush-hour congestion, anyway :ded:

(https://i.ibb.co/GtcSy19/95.jpg) (https://ibb.co/RBzwfMN)
That just looks like a normal Friday afternoon  :spin:

Well, if you were talking about I-95 in Virginia.
I used to live and work in that area my house was very close to the intersection of US-29 and MD-32 - I do not miss the traffic at all!!
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 14, 2021, 03:45:14 PM
I-94 heading northwest out of the Twin Cities. If there's a crash or even a lane closure for construction, you're going to be chilling with a herd of trucks for several miles.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: jeffandnicole on May 14, 2021, 03:45:40 PM
During normal times, I experienced 14 mile backups on a regular basis on my commute home.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: OCGuy81 on May 14, 2021, 03:52:33 PM
I've been the victim of the I-5 bridge between Oregon and Washington being raised before.  I was heading north into Washington, and the backup started near the Rose Quarter.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: webny99 on May 14, 2021, 04:02:00 PM
During normal times, I experienced 14 mile backups on a regular basis on my commute home.

Although I think it is worth distinguishing between 14 miles of stop-and-go rush hour traffic and 14 miles of traffic due to an abnormal incident.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: Flint1979 on May 14, 2021, 10:05:35 PM
Before the current Zilwaukee Bridge and I-675 were built the drawbridge in Zilwaukee would cause I-75 to backup for 15-20 miles in some cases. It was only four lanes back then too.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: webny99 on May 14, 2021, 11:59:55 PM
Back in the summer of 2019, the closure of the NY 104 EB ramp over NY 590 caused some major problems, unlike anything I've ever seen in this area on a recurring basis (granted, in a metro area known for having it very easy with traffic).

Here (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=1487.msg2429850#msg2429850) is the post I made at the time detailing the issue. In short, all traffic to the Bay Bridge (NY 104) had to funnel onto NY 590 NB, which subsequently jammed and caused traffic to detour via NY 404 and NY 286, which then also backed up into the valley.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: ibthebigd on May 15, 2021, 05:05:27 AM
Northern Kentucky when the Brent Spence Bridge closed was all red everywhere

SM-G950U

Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: JoePCool14 on May 15, 2021, 12:26:20 PM
My favorite thing to do is when there's a big snowstorm over the entire Chicagoland area, and you go on Apple Maps and zoom out to see every single freeway reporting either yellow or red conditions. Unfortunately I don't have any screenshots, and by my calculations it's currently going into "not snowstorm" season, so...

Also, I'm surprised a thread like this hasn't been created sooner. Traffic jams are fun to look at when you aren't stuck in them.  :bigass:
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: In_Correct on May 15, 2021, 09:48:18 PM
I've been the victim of the I-5 bridge between Oregon and Washington being raised before.  I was heading north into Washington, and the backup started near the Rose Quarter.

That reminds me of when there were all these one lane bridges with traffic lights.

...

Quote
very long traffic jams

Interstate 35 in Texas has immense traffic congestion problems. Traffic is backed up be cause the interchanges need to be upgraded. Often every lane slows down and stops. Interstate 35 usually has Frontage Roads but the bridges are out most of the time. The frontage roads are still able to provide detours to other highways but they are usually 2 lane and very busy at grade rail road crossings.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: gonealookin on May 15, 2021, 09:59:54 PM
I-80 and US 50 over the Sierra can be calamitously bad on winter weekends when the weather is not cooperating.

Here's the California Highway Patrol's Placerville office Facebook poster at the end of his/her rope on Washington's Birthday weekend a couple years ago.
https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2358629117703944&id=1464321477134717&sfnsn=mo (https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2358629117703944&id=1464321477134717&sfnsn=mo)

Quote
CHP - Placerville
February 15, 2019 ·
***Current conditions as of 11:30 PM 2/15/19***

STOP DRIVING UP HERE FROM OUT OF AREA.

We cannot handle the amount of vehicles that keep coming up and getting stuck here. There are no alternate routes.
Expect 6-8 hour delays.

US-50 is being closed intermittently for avalanche control.

Exits in Pollock Pines are being shut down for everyone except residents.

Just please stop coming up here. The situation is too much for the area to handle and there is nowhere for you to go.

I-80 is open. Go that way!

We have every available officer up there and have even held over the previous shift.

Hoping our media partners can help spread the word.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: Flint1979 on May 16, 2021, 05:47:18 PM
I think just about anything on the Fritzowl Expressway would cause a massive disaster.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: ftballfan on May 18, 2021, 10:07:58 PM
Last week there was a truck/pedestrian accident on US-131 southbound just before rush hour near the Kent/Allegan county line. 131 SB was closed at 100th St, diverting traffic to Division, Clyde Park, and even Byron Center into Allegan County. Luckily, my commute is northbound during that time frame, but I noticed a long line of cars (along with semis) coming down 135th Ave toward US-131 from Division in Wayland.

On my way back from FL this year, I-75 was backed up over 10 miles due to a truck fire on the south side of Atlanta during rush hour, which dumped a lot of traffic onto US-23 or 19/41
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 19, 2021, 01:08:35 AM
The MUTCD has three classes of incidents:

A. Major—expected duration of more than 2 hours,
B. Intermediate—expected duration of 30 minutes to 2 hours, and
C. Minor—expected duration under 30 minutes.

Duration class A, the worst of the bunch in terms of congestion impact, can often be classified as one of the following:

- Fatal crash requiring reconstruction
- Crash requiring extended extraction of persons involved in the crash
- Sometimes a combination of the two above
- HAZMAT crash (fire/explosion or just an offload of the hazardous cargo which can take many hours)
- Fuel spill and clean-up
- An abnormally large number of vehicles in a crash (such as in heavy fog or "unexpected" snow or ice)
- Non-HAZMAT cargo spill
- Commercial vehicle fire (not HAZMAT) to include trash truck fires
- Crime scene related to a crash
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: texaskdog on May 19, 2021, 01:22:16 AM
In Minnesota they'd do their best to get traffic through.  In Austin they close the freeway down for hours to investigate.  Idiot runs across freeway, gets hit.  :P
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: cpzilliacus on May 19, 2021, 01:27:43 AM
In Minnesota they'd do their best to get traffic through.  In Austin they close the freeway down for hours to investigate.  Idiot runs across freeway, gets hit.  :P

That's usually a fatal crash, and those will take a while to investigate.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: bwana39 on May 19, 2021, 11:40:19 AM
The worst ongoing backup in Texas is when they close a single lane virtually anywhere on I-20 between Terrell and Shreveport.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: roadman65 on May 19, 2021, 11:46:21 AM
I-4 is another one. Shut one lane down and the backups occur miles behind it.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: andrepoiy on June 25, 2021, 06:05:24 PM
Although this isn't an accident or road closure, this is simply weather.

I find it funny that rain can singlehandedly cause the whole city to get jammed.

(https://i.imgur.com/lchT1OA.png)
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: 1 on June 25, 2021, 06:11:42 PM
Although this isn't an accident or road closure, this is simply weather.

I find it funny that rain can singlehandedly cause the whole city to get jammed.

(https://i.imgur.com/lchT1OA.png)

On the other hand, rain can cause traffic that would normally be stopped to flow at about 30 mph due to reduced demand.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: skluth on June 25, 2021, 06:48:16 PM
I don't have a screenshot. But accidents happen frequently on I-10 in the mountain passes east and west of the Coachella Valley. I-10 is only two lanes each way east of the valley and accidents around Chiriaco Summit (https://www.google.com/maps/@33.6516055,-115.7225061,13z?hl=en) are often late night-single driver accidents caused by someone falling asleep at the wheel. These will shut down the highway for several hours, but are usually cleared out by about 7 AM. Accidents between Banning and CA 111 (https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9070799,-116.7643965,12.71z/data=!5m1!1e1?hl=en) can be a disaster with four lanes of traffic each way and no alternatives. It can be bad enough without accidents (especially with the current construction project), with traffic from events like Coachella and Stagecoach causing hours-long backups. Wind in San Gorgonio Pass can be especially bad with the big rigs, and car/truck accidents are a common occurrence during high wind events. (Car/truck accidents are frequent enough here that we get commercials for accident-chasing lawyers who specialize in those cases.) So far, I've been lucky enough not to get caught going home to PS but I did once turn around when heading to the IE because an accident had closed I-10 at Cabazon.

Similar problems probably occur at most interstate Western passes. Traffic is bad enough exiting the LA Basin on I-5 up the Grapevine or on I-15 through Cajon Pass to Vegas on Fridays. Accidents will completely trash these traffic bottlenecks for hours, though both are wide enough that it's rare that all the lanes are blocked.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: Bruce on June 25, 2021, 11:57:23 PM
Spill something on a roadway in the Seattle area and you can generate a fun traffic jam:

March 24, 2015 - A salmon truck (https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/overturned-fish-truck-creates-highway-99-rush-hour-debacle/) overturned on the approach to the Alaskan Way Viaduct, blocking the southbound lanes at 2:30 pm. Gridlock ensues on parallel corridors and the truck isn't removed until 9:30. A Sounders game was delayed by 30 minutes as fans (and goalkeeper Stefan Frei) had to find ways of reaching the stadium.

April 4, 2016 - A crab truck (https://komonews.com/news/local/semi-overturns-on-alaskan-way-viaduct-threatening-large-traffic-snarls) overturns on the viaduct and blocks the northbound lanes for 3 hours.

February 27, 2017 - A propane truck (https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/semi-rollover-on-i-5-near-west-seattle-bridge-blocking-lanes/) overturns on I-5 and closes the southbound lanes for 8 hours.

And more: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/05/23/26479809/the-weird-shit-that-has-spilled-on-seattle-highways
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: fillup420 on June 26, 2021, 07:51:11 AM
when the Cape Fear bridge in downtown Wilmington NC opens, traffic all around the area becomes chaotic. I have only been caught by it once, but I have seen the traffic nightmare that is created. The bridge has a twitter that announces openings. Looking back, it seems like most openings happen on non-peak times, but on june 18 it opened at 5:30 PM
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: HighwayStar on June 26, 2021, 03:11:13 PM
Another condition I will attribute to major backups is the lack of an alternative route. The obvious cases involve bridges, tunnels, etc. but even just where there is no parallel route that can take some of the traffic. That rarely helps those already stuck but it can provide relief for those further out. A major benefit of retaining US routes that parallel freeways.
Title: Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
Post by: zzcarp on June 26, 2021, 10:04:38 PM
It's not causing big backups yet because it's Saturday night, and I-70 is once again closed in Glenwood Canyon. CDOT calls for a 3 hour detour. The big backups come from extended closures when trucks and other long vehicles try to shortcut over Independence Pass or the dirt Cottonwood Pass near Eagle and get stuck, blocking the only closer alternative routes.

Current traffic conditions:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51272310527_9886da248f_c.jpg)