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Epic traffic jam in China leaves drivers stuck for 9 days

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Chinese traffic jam lasts 9 days
  • The traffic jam stretches more than 100 km (62 miles)
  • Construction is adding to the gridlock that started August 14
  • Nearby vendors are allegedly overcharging drivers for food
  • China
  • Beijing

(CNN) -- Think you had a hellish commute this morning? Just be thankful you're not in China, where a traffic jam stretching more than 100 km (62 miles) has forced drivers to keep their feet planted on brake pedals for nine days.

The gridlock, which started August 14, involves thousands of trucks between the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Chinese capital of Beijing, according to state media.

Fender-benders and broken-down vehicles are adding to the chaos, state media reported.

Some drivers played cards to pass the time, while others fumed about nearby vendors taking advantage of their predicament by gouging food prices.

Still, some opted to not take detours to avoid farther travel and toll costs.

Traffic congestion is a common problem in China. But construction on a section of the Beijing-Tibet Expressway has forced more traffic to National Expressway 110, which runs roughly parallel.

Roads leading to Beijing are particularly notorious for turning into parking lots.

"If there's no traffic jam in the city, that would be news," Niu Fengrui, director of the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told state media.

"Our government should pick up the pace of urban infrastructure construction and spend some of its budget," he said.

But drivers are nowhere near the finish line. Construction is scheduled to continue until September 13.

CNN's Steven Jiang contributed to this report.