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Author Topic: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups  (Read 2782 times)


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Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
« Reply #25 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.

On the other hand, rain can cause traffic that would normally be stopped to flow at about 30 mph due to reduced demand.

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Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
« Reply #26 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 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 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.


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Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
« Reply #27 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 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 overturns on the viaduct and blocks the northbound lanes for 3 hours.

February 27, 2017 - A propane truck 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


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Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
« Reply #28 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


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Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
« Reply #29 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.
I-70 does not go to Baltimore


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Re: Road closures/accidents/etc. that cause very long backups
« Reply #30 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:
So many miles and so many roads


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