Lifestyle & Belief

Thanksgiving traffic: delays from sticky goo, rain


Traffic converges on highway I-495 South in McLean, Va., on Nov. 23, 2011, one of the busiest travel days of the year.


Win McNamee

Some drivers who’d hoped to beat the worst of the Thanksgiving traffic by leaving for the holiday on Tuesday night were thwarted by a sticky black chemical goo on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

More than 100 cars got stuck in the goo – which turned out to be driveway sealant – between the New Castle and Allegheny Valley exits, delaying traffic for hours, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

A truck from Marino Transportation Services in Stevensville, Md., drove onto the turnpike at the New Castle exit shortly before 8 p.m. The driver, unaware that his truck was leaking, continued east for about 40 miles before pulling into the Oakmont service plaza.

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Maintenance crews cleaned up the mess by dumping sand onto the goo and pushing it on to the shoulder with snowplows, Turnpike Spokesman Carl DeFebo told The Associated Press.

"It's really frustrating. Nobody stopped you from going through that stuff," Betsy Kowalski of State College, whose Suburu was damaged, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

On Wednesday, rainy weather caused delays for air travelers at the Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia airports, the Los Angeles Times reported. Snow, mixed with sleet and freezing rain made driving difficult in parts of New England and upstate New York, the AP reported.

The cost of all this aggravation? More than last year, according to the American Automobile Association. Drivers will pay 16 percent more this year for gas, which reached an average of $3.33 a gallon as of today, AAA officials said, according to the AP. The average round-trip airfare for the top 40 U.S. routes is $212, AAA said, up 20 percent from 2010.

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