In his 26 years with the Delaware River and Bay Authority, James Salmon can’t remember a time where 10 jackknifed tractor-trailers shut down the Delaware
Memorial Bridge – especially in the midst of a snowstorm.
But that’s exactly what happened about 1 p.m. Wednesday, as the trucks failed to navigate the up-slope of the New Jersey-bound span of the bridge, Salmon said. Though none of the vehicles crashed into each other and no injuries were reported, the truck tangle closed down that half of the bridge – all four lanes of travel – for more than two hours.
“I think the intensity of the situation when (the storm) bombed out, it created a situation where we just couldn’t keep up,” said Salmon, a spokesman with the Delaware River and Bay Authority. The incident, which backed up traffic into Delaware for miles and delayed travelers for hours, came as the storm peaked in the First State early Wednesday afternoon, dropping large amounts of snow in a short amount of time.
That combination, as well as many offices closing early due to the worsening weather, left more people on the roads trying to get home. And the travelers who got snagged in the mess weren’t happy either. Many took to the Delaware Memorial Bridge’s Twitter page to voice their frustration, though some managed to find some humor in it. #STORMDE:What are we talking about?
One man tweeted to the account, which Salmon said his staff relies upon to keep travelers up to date of the latest travel issues, that he had officially gone through his ration of food. “@demembridge I’ve gone through my food rations in my car. We may need airdrops soon. I’m thinking Arby’s,” he wrote. A picture of two condiment packets accompanied the tweet. Salmon and his staff were quick to respond:
We've got the meats? https://t.co/NtNMxGE7MQ
— Del Memorial Bridge (@demembridge) March 7, 2018
Others shared photos and video of the continuous snowfall – and standstill traffic conditions – from their vehicles. Bathroom needs and frustration were typical complaints.
I have to freakin pee so bad, this is NOT funny at all! Open a lane and let us through!
— Jodi Greschak Laden (@jodiG84) March 7, 2018
What are they using a horse and wagon to move tracker trailer?
— Chris Colaianni (@Ccolaianni76) March 7, 2018
Seriously, we have @springsteen tickets. This is (almost) NJ. Can we get a little of love here? Please? We’re talking bucket list …
— Leigh Perkins (@lpperkins1) March 7, 2018
Salmon encouraged travelers to frequent the @DeMemBridge Twitter page if they have concerns about traffic or want to check conditions before traveling. “Twitter is our primary way to notify commuters and customers of bridge situations,” he said Thursday. “We rely heavily on Twitter to communicate what’s going on on the bridge, especially when circumstances warrant lane closures.”