Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Commute From Hell

Something bad happened on Route 1 where it crosses the St. Jones River this evening. As a result, my Dover to Lewes commute -- usually 45 minutes -- took about three and a quarter hours.

I knew it was going to be a slow ride when I was leaving Dover. There had been an inch or so of wet snow during the day. As the afternoon turned to evening, there was sleet and freezing rain. The roads were slick.

Coming up onto State Route 1 from Route 113, there were two spin-outs. It looked like some folks had tried to go too fast. By the time I passed the main entrance to the Dover Air Base, it was clear that things were slowing way down.

TrafficI was behind a tallish pick-up truck, so I couldn't see ahead. Soon we were nearly at a full stop. Half an hour, we had crept forward until I was at the big sweeping right-hand bend, just past the airbase. That gave me a view ahead. I could see flashers on the bridge and traffic just squeezing by in one lane.

An hour later, just as I was approaching the bridge, I found that the Fire Police were turning us back and sending us north again.

I made a pit stop near the base entrance -- bathroom, dinner, and a cup of coffee -- and compared notes with other roadfugees. A state commuter van-full of DelDOT folk had heard that it was a multi-car pile-up, with injuries and maybe a fatality. I hope not.

From there, I joined a slow crawl of commuters headed down Alternate 113 towards Little Heaven. When we rejoined the main highway, there was plenty of traffic. I couldn't tell whether the bridge had re-opened or not.

As I headed south, the road got less slick. It was clear that the weather down this way was more rain than snow for most of the day.

I walked into my house at about 7:45. I had left the office at 4:30.


Dino said...

my classmate also told me about route 1 last night. I guess a lot of Delawarian got stuck in the traffic last night.

galaxy girl said...

Yet another vote for renaming "Little Heaven"? Route Fun is a blessing and a curse ... sorry you got stuck in that mess.

Nancy Willing said...

All that bridge!!!

The Bowers Beach is my favorite area in the state. I travel there as much as possible.
(and south as far as Stone Beach)

The accident numbers for the lower counties come close to 200.

How about DelDOT purchase of the Rainbow Inn, demolishing it and sitting on their hands waiting for the funds to straighten the road.
That curve is not so bad, is it?

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