Crews are hard at work this week on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie and drivers are not happy about the way that work is being done.

If you were attempting to drive South on Route 9 on Wednesday you most likely were late to wherever you were going. A massive traffic backup was caused by several construction projects that were all happening at the same time.

It's unclear if these projects were a coordinated effort or just a horrible coincidence, but the combination of a haphazard asphalt operation, sewer replacement and poorly marked lane changes made for a brutally frustrating situation.

Route 9 in Poughkeepsie Grinds to a Halt

I left our Poughkeepsie, New York studios just before 11am on Wednesday and headed south on Route 9. As I got closer to the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, my car's GPS map began glowing bright red with a warning that there was some heavy traffic ahead.

Unable to turn back, I pushed forward only to come to a complete stop near Locust Grove. Ongoing roadwork has been happening in this area over the past few weeks and for the most part, it has been only a minor inconvenience and barely impacted travel.

Wednesday's traffic issues would turn out to be much much worse.

Poughkeepsie New York
A. Boris

Confusion on Route 9 Causes Chaos in Poughkeepsie

Three different road projects were all happening at the same time within just a mile of each other, forcing drivers into several different traffic patterns that appeared to have no rhyme or reason. Signs telling drivers to merge into the left lane were contradicted by flashing arrows ordering them all to the right lane, causing confusion and frustration as cars jockeyed for position.

The backup began with what appeared to be a replacement of sewer grates on the left side of the road. Heavy machinery was blocking the lane, so cars were forced to merge to the right.

After getting through the first merge, all lanes were reopened for only a few hundred feet before merging again. Instead of just closing the whole left lane, construction workers made the mistake of allowing cars to spread out only to have to quickly merge again. This created a domino effect that brought traffic to a complete stop.

Poughkeepsie New York
A. Boris

After the second merge things only got worse. A sign indicated that a third lane adjustment was ahead and the right lane would be closed. Cars began to shift to the left only to find contradictory flashing arrows forcing traffic back to the right.

Workers appeared to be taking up several lanes repairing potholes. As cars crawled by, one worker with a shovel backed into the active lane, causing cars to slam on their breaks to avoid running over the seemingly oblivious worker.

Why Was All of This Even Happening In the Middle of the Day?

To bystanders, it appeared that this haphazard collection of road crews just happened to show up at the same location by accident. If this was a coordinated effort, it was terribly planned.

It's unclear why projects such as this aren't mapped out ahead of time to avoid major traffic issues. These jobs certainly didn't need to all happen at the exact same time and could have easily been scheduled in a way that could have avoided so many conflicting road signs and messages.

While it's impossible to do all road construction at night, it would seem that a project of this magnitude on such a busy highway should take place in the evening, not right in the middle of a work day. This particular stretch of Route 9 has no alternate route, so those traveling south did not have the option to avoid the massive construction zone. Unless it's an emergency, there's absolutely no reason for so many projects to be happening at once.

What do you think? Should construction that impacts major roadways be better planned to avoid issues like those that happened on Wednesday? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page or by sending us a text on our mobile app.

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