The Arkansas Department of Transportation (DOT) says that they’re having trouble getting traffic moving after an overnight interstate shutdown because of truckers who simply went to sleep on the road.
Last night around 8:30 p.m., Arkansas transportation officials shut down the White River Bridge on westbound I-40 near mile marker 200 because of icy conditions and “recurring accidents.”
The interstate shutdown left many drivers stranded for more than 10 hours. Many truck drivers found themselves stuck in traffic for so long that they simply went to sleep in their trucks on I-40.
Arkansas DOT was able to get all lanes of westbound I-40 open for the morning rush hour today, but they say that there are still severe traffic backups between mile markers 205 and 223 caused by “sleeping truck drivers.”
Prairie/Monroe/St. Francis Co: I-40 WB is delayed due to sleeping truck drivers between mile markers 205 & 223. Police are working to get traffic moving again. Monitor at https://t.co/l1xGNNTado. #artraffic #neatraffic pic.twitter.com/RSCo5av9VL
— Arkansas DOT (@myARDOT) November 15, 2018
In another tweet, Arkansas DOT wrote, “Prairie Co: all lanes are open on I-40 at the White River Bridge. WB Traffic is slow to recover due to recurring accidents, ice formations, and vehicle operators that simply went to sleep while in the queue at some point.”
Arkansas State Police are attempting to wake the sleeping truck drivers by blaring their sirens and by knocking on truck doors, according to reporting from KARK.
Many drivers stuck in the traffic jam have been tweeting at Arkansas DOT expressing their frustration as they run low on fuel, food, and patience.
Someone please wake up the vehicle operators so that we can move. People are running out of gas.
— Bruce Rhodes (@brucerhodes) November 15, 2018