|Trucks bound for Beijing stand virtually still on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway, formerly known as the Badaling Expressway, in this August 19 photo: (Photo: Xinhua )
BEIJING, Aug. 23 (Xinhuanet) --Traffic authorities were still struggling to cope with days-long congestion on a major national expressway, nine days after traffic slowed to a snail's pace, and nearby residents are profiting on the latest traffic snarl by overcharging drivers for food.
Since August 14, thousands of Beijing-bound trucks have jammed the expressway again, and traffic has stretched for more than 100 kilometers between Beijing and Huai'an in Heibei Province, and Jining in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China National Radio (CNR) reported Sunday.
Small traffic accidents or broken-down cars are aggravating the jam, the report said.
"Insufficient traffic capacity on the National Expressway 110 caused by maintenance construction since August 19 is the major cause of the congestion," a publicity officer with the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity Sunday.
Under current traffic regulations, the National Expressway 110 (G110), heading northwest from Beijing to Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, and then heading directly west, is available to trucks with a carrying capacity of eight tons and above. The road suffered serious damage due to the greater volume of heavy trucks.
This month there have been more trucks carrying excessive coal or fruit, but the Beijing section of the Beijing-Tibet Expressway is available only to trucks with a weight of less than four tons.
The congestion is expected to last for almost a month, since the construction is due for completion September 13.
Traffic congestion and road safety have become major concerns for Chinese motorists.
For drivers, suffering the congestion on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway is nothing new. In a similar scene this July, traffic was also reduced to a crawl for nearly one month.
Some killed time by playing cards, while some could only wait idly by.
In the latest bout of congestion on the Huai'an section, a truck driver surnamed Huang, told the Global Times that he suffered "double blows."
"Instant noodles are sold at four times the original price while I wait in the congestion," he said.