Motorists on Route 280 reported being stuck for hours in an icy traffic hell Thursday night along the same area of highway where rescuers earlier this year needed snowmobiles to reach stranded drivers.
“Stuck on 280 West, which is a parking lot. No updates as to when ppl can go home,” one frustrated commuter posted on Twitter.
Where are the salters and plows on 280 and 80 West? Why isn’t law enforcement handling traffic? Thousands of commuters are stuck in a parking lot of accidents.
— Erica Jedynak (@EricaJedynak) November 16, 2018
“My wife has moved 90 feet in 3 hours. Stuck westbound near exit 10,” Rick Kronberg said on Twitter of the highway.
Others on social media echoed complaints about being stuck for more than an hour on 280 through Essex County. Video showed a driver headed the wrong way to escape the snowlocked highway.
We keep being told “the plows are out there” but every single traffic camera we look at regarding the major highways, there’s a couple inches of snow. Unplowed.
— Kurt Siegelin (@kurtsiegelin) November 16, 2018
The highway was closed due to icy conditions near Exit 15 as of shortly before 5 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation website. Other closures were reported in West Orange.
— Montana49 (@ebjanine) November 15, 2018
“NJDOT has more than 825 spreaders and plows working to clear state highways. Road may be slushy and slippery as snow turns to rain. Use caution, leave plenty of following distance between vehicles, and stay safe,” the DOT said in a statement on Twitter.
Avoid driving tonight if possible as road conditions may be icy or slushy throughout the state as snow turns to rain. Use caution and plan extra travel time if you do have to drive.
— NJDOT (@NJDOT_info) November 15, 2018
Replies to the DOT on Twitter included a torrent of enraged drivers, who reported not seeing any plows and called officials ill-prepared for storm.
— john (@sofajockey) November 15, 2018
Earlier this year, state authorities deployed urban search and rescue teams on snowmobiles to reach drivers stuck on the same highway after a snow storm in March. It was not clear if any similar rescues were planned.
Well I was walking in Rt. 280 but I’m home. pic.twitter.com/bQCGogTZRC
— Valerie Morrison (@natural717) November 15, 2018
Representatives for the Department of Transportation and State Police could not be immediately reached to comment.
Thursday’s snowstorm left travelers across the state stuck in a commuting hell of hours-long traffic delays, crashes and packed mass transit.