As is typical this time of December, the "of the Year" lists are piling up in our feed reader. Most of them are dispatched before we get past the first few syllables, but a few seem to grab our attention.
This top ten list deserved mention, as it outlined the worst traffic incidents recorded by the traffic monitoring geeks at Metro Networks, owned by communications leviathan, Westwood One.
Although the press release doesn't outline how it came to conclude that these particular roadway upsets were the worst, judging by the descriptions, we're hardly going to argue. Some of the highlights lowlights include a Tomahawk missile finding its way onto I-95 in New York City, after the tractor-trailer transporting the munitions overturned, a meatpacking truck in the Bay Area dumping thousands of pounds of bovine pieces across the freeway and the 12-ton concrete panel (pictured) that dropped from the ceiling of a tunnel in Boston's notorious "Big Dig," tragically taking the life of a woman driving down the Massachusetts Turnpike.
A brief description of each of the ten worst incidents, pulled from Westwood One's press release, can be found below the fold.
THE TEN WORST TRAFFIC INCIDENTS OF 2006
New York City - In July a tractor-trailer hauling a Tomahawk test
missile overturned on I-95 SB in the Bronx. The missile ended up on the
Interstate. The highway was closed that morning while ATF officials and
NYPD bomb crews investigated. Metro Network radio and TV helicopters
were over the scene all morning as workers carefully removed the missile
from the highway. No serious injuries resulted. There apparently was no
triggering device on the missile.
San Francisco - A meatpacking truck traveling along the NB101 in San
Mateo got into a messy accident spilling cow body parts all across the
freeway. Commuters experienced heavy delays as workers cleaned up the
hundreds of strewn body parts.
Houston - An accident on the ramp from 610 North loop to the US59
resulted in a truck falling off the ramp and breaking open. The truck
contained frozen chickens which were thrown all over the freeway below.
Boston - In July a 12-ton concrete ceiling panel from a "Big Dig"
connector tunnel gave way, dropping onto a passing car. The tunnel,
which connects the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) to the Ted Williams
Tunnel, had to be shut down, choking traffic between Boston's Metrowest
and Logan International Airport. Thousands of commuters spilled into
downtown Boston and South Boston in search of alternate routes in a
confusing sea of work crews and detours.
Dallas - A rig carrying oil refinery equipment on northbound Loop 12 in
November smacked into an overhead bridge at the Highway 183 interchange
by Texas Stadium. The driver of the massive truck had permission to use
Loop 12 and was told that there would be enough clearance to get under
the bridge. The wreck happened one day before a major bridge demolition
along I-30. Unfortunately Highway 183 was the scheduled alternate route
for drivers heading back and forth from Dallas to Tarrant County.
Detroit - In early November two semis collided on Northbound I-75 in
Monroe. They caught on fire and flaming debris was scattered clogging
the entire freeway and involving another four semis and about six cars.
The heat damage was severe and the highway was closed for a week to
repair the surface.
Chicago- The Summer of 2006 was one long traffic nightmare for commuters
from the south suburbs of Chicago and Northwest Indiana. The Dan Ryan
Expressway, Chicago Skyway and I-80/94 were all under construction at
the exact same time leaving them no alternative but to sit in the long
delays day in and day out.
Atlanta- Two cars and a tractor trailer collided just before the start
of morning rush hour killing two people. The interstate was closed for
the entire rush hour backing up traffic almost 10 miles and clogging
many alternate routes.
Los Angeles - In March, on the S/B 710 at Washington, a big rig
overturned, caught fire, and burnt to the ground. The entire S/B freeway
was closed for almost 13 hours. As this is the East LA Interchange it
affected every major freeway heading in and out of Downtown Los Angeles
from before the morning rush through the evening rush that day.
Washington DC - On a Friday morning in the spring, two tractor trailers
collided on I-95 North in Massaponax, VA (just south of Fredericksburg).
The trucks caught fire and damaged the roads so severely that they had
to be repaved. The accident shut down I-95 North late into the night and
caused major delays on I-95 South.