China Traffic Jam Enters 9th Day

An epic traffic jam along a highway connecting the Chinese capital of Beijing and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has forced motorists to stay on the road for the ninth-straight day, state media reported on Monday.

The traffic jam now stretches around 100 kilometers or 62 miles, but drivers caught in the gridlock chose to endure the punishment than find other routes to avoid additional toll fees. Thousands of trucks make up the bulk of the vehicles caught in the traffic jam, which started on August 14 due to repairs being made a section of the Beijing-Tibet Expressway. Vehicles that used to take the Beijing-Tibet Expressway are now using the National Expressway 110, hence the mind-numbing traffic.

The gridlock could last until around the second week of next month, as construction on the expressway will not be completed until at least September 13.

China, particularly Beijing, is notorious for its heavy traffic due to lack of adequate roads to match the increase in the number of vehicles. Niu Fengrul of the Chinese Academy of Social Science Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies said it is about time that China focuses on carrying out more infrastructure projects. “Our government should pick up the pace of urban infrastructure construction and spend some of its budget,” Niu said.