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China National Highway 110 traffic jam

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The China National Highway 110 traffic jam was a recurring[1] traffic jam that began to form on 14 August 2010, mostly on China National Highway 110 (G110) and the Beijing–Tibet expressway (G6), in Hebei and Inner Mongolia.[2][3] The traffic jam slowed thousands of vehicles for more than 100 kilometers (60 mi) and lasted for 12 days.[3][4][5] Many drivers were able to move their vehicles only 1 km (0.6 mi) per day, and some drivers reported being stuck in the traffic jam for five days.[5] It is considered to be the longest traffic jam in recorded history.[6][7][8]


Traffic on the China National Highway 110 had grown 40 percent every year, in the previous several years, making the highway chronically congested.[5] The traffic volume at the time of the incident was 60% more than the design capacity.[9]

The cause of the traffic jam was reported to be a spike in traffic by heavy trucks heading to Beijing, along with National Highway 110's maintenance work that began five days later.[3] The road construction which reduced the road capacity by 50%[2] contributed heavily to the traffic jam and was not due to be completed until mid-September.[5] Police reported that minor breakdowns and accidents were compounding the problem.[10]

Greatly increased coal production in Inner Mongolia was transported to Beijing along this route because of the lack of railway capacity, which overloaded the highway.[11] 602 million tons of coal were mined and transported in 2009; production was expected to rise to 730 million tons in 2010.[11] An additional factor is efforts by overloaded trucks that lacked proper paperwork for their cargo to avoid a coal quality supervision and inspection station on China National Highway 208.[11]

Effect and end[edit]

Locals near the highway sold various goods like water, instant noodles, and cigarettes at inflated prices to the stranded drivers.[3][10] A bottle of water normally cost 1 yuan, but on the highway it was sold for 15 yuan. Drivers also complained that the price of instant noodles had more than tripled.[12] Some vendors created mobile stores on bicycles.[12]

Authorities tried to speed up traffic by allowing more trucks to enter Beijing, especially at night. They also asked trucking companies to suspend operations or take alternative routes.[12]

By 26 August 2010, the traffic jam had largely dissipated, reportedly due to the efforts of authorities.[13] Between Beijing and Inner Mongolia, only minor traffic slowdowns were reported near toll booths.[13]


  1. ^ "Monster traffic jam ... again" article by He Dan and Wang Qian in the China Daily Updated: 4 September 2010 07:35, accessed 4 September 2010
  2. ^ a b "京藏高速多路段堵车 110国道施工致通行力降50%". Tianjin net. People's Daily Online. 27 August 2010. Archived from the original on 4 September 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d "China's nine-day traffic jam stretches 100km". AFP. 23 August 2010. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  4. ^ "世界惊奇中国高速大堵车(The world is surprised by Chinese highway massive traffic jam)". Xinhua international. Xinhua. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d Chang, Anita (24 August 2010). "China traffic jam stretching 100 kilometres could last for weeks". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Chinese drivers stuck in the longest traffic jam". Peter Foster. The Daily Telegraph. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  7. ^ "Gridlock is a way of life for Chinese". Jonathan Watts. The Guardian. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  8. ^ "China's 10-day traffic jam "longest ever"". Ananth Krishnan. The Hindu. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  9. ^ "限行致京藏高速堵车:110国道车流超设计流量6成". 新京报. Sohu.com. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  10. ^ a b Ford, Peter (24 August 2010). "China traffic jam enters Day 11. A tale of deceit and criminality?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  11. ^ a b c "Bottlenecks Clog Northern Artery" 14 September 2010 08:15:51, China Daily, Web Editor: Jiang Aitao, accessed 14 September 2010; Original article at China Daily, accessed 14 September 2010
  12. ^ a b c "China's massive traffic jam could last for weeks". CTV. 24 August 2010. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  13. ^ a b "China traffic jam vanishes overnight?". The Christian Science Monitor. 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011.

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