Coal trucks bring highway to a standstill | Shanghai Daily

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October 14, 2009

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Coal trucks bring highway to a standstill

MORE than 2,000 vehicles, mostly heavy trucks carrying coal, have been stuck in the latest traffic jam to hit a highway in north China.

They've been at a standstill since Monday in a tailback stretching more than 50 kilometers on the 60km Shenpan Highway, which links Xingxian County in Shanxi Province and coal-rich Shenmu County in Shaanxi Province.

By yesterday afternoon, the situation had only eased a little and dozens of traffic police officers were dispatched to keep order.

"I have been stuck here for more than three hours. There are too many vehicles," said a truck driver Wu Yongqing from Linxian County in Shanxi yesterday.

Since September, traffic tailbacks involving thousands of coal-carrying vehicles have been a common sight.

"It usually takes drivers two or three days to struggle along the road," said Mao Yongdong, a traffic police officer in Shenmu.

"Poor road conditions and traffic management as well as a drastic increase in coal trucks this season are mainly to blame," he said.

The highway is only 8 meters wide. It is peak season for coal trading now, and every day about 8,000 trucks are on it, compared to its designed capacity of 1,260.

"Once a traffic accident happens or a truck breaks down, then there's a massive traffic jam," said Hu Yinbao, of the road transport office in Xingxian County.

Zhang Zhichuan, deputy director of the Shanxi Provincial Department of Transport, said: "We will renovate the highway and improve its condition and capacity to resolve the issue of gridlock."





 

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