Traffic gridlock amid AC Expressway crash detour

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — A building-materials company dump truck hit an overpass along the Atlantic City Expressway on Thursday, shutting off a portion of the road for more than five hours and slowing traffic on surrounding roads.

The accident occurred at 8 a.m., when the Penn Jersey Building Materials truck hit the Fire Road bridge overpass, according to State Police, sending cinder blocks spilling from atop the vehicle onto the expressway, striking a Kia Optima.

“There was debris throughout each lane,” said Jason Smart-El, 27, of Mays Landing, who was caught in the traffic. “There were chunks of cinder blocks everywhere.”

An employee at Penn Jersey’s Pleasantville location confirmed the truck involved in the accident was theirs but referred additional comment to an operations manager who did not return calls from The Press.

By 1:40 p.m., lanes on the expressway had reopened, according to the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the expressway. Mark Amorosi, a spokesman for the SJTA, said cleanup was ongoing.

Traffic was detoured from the expressway to the Garden State Parkway south, with most motorists taking the Washington Avenue exit. Traffic lights at the parkway exit on Washington Avenue, at Fire Road and at Doughty Road forced gridlock for motorists making the trek east on Washington Avenue.

Both Route 9 and Fire Road between Washington Avenue in Egg Harbor Township and Delilah Road in Pleasantville were closed for several hours as a result of the crash, according to officials.  

Neither the driver of the dump truck nor the driver of the Optima was injured, State Police said.

Atlantic County planning and engineering officials checked the scene for damage, county spokeswoman Linda Gilmore said.

Smart-El said he was glad no one was hurt.

“There was so much smoke,” he said. “But the truck driver was standing and seemed OK.”

Marissa Luca contributed to this report.

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