Large tank being transported by Bricker Transport of Laredo, Texas snarls rush hour traffic in Clarke County, Virginia - Photo Edward Leonard

At 4:59 pm Bricker Transport, of Laredo, Texas began a brief, but unwelcome, visit to Clarke County, Virginia.

That’s when a truck belonging to the company hauling a huge tank labelled “MARS” (Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport) crested Snickers Gap trailing a four mile traffic jam. By 5:15pm the load had only reached the western end of the Shenandoah River bridge.

The vehicle was both preceded and followed by vehicles with “Wide Load” warning banners and amber caution lights. While drivers stuck in the traffic jam  probably appreciated the presence of the safety equipment,  most surely would have preferred a warning that their evening commute was going to be extended by nearly an hour.

One driver caught in the traffic backup and reached by phone on her way to Strasburg, Virginia to close on a home purchase expressed frustration. “Why is this being allowed at rush hour? the exasperated driver lamented. “I’m never going to make it to my appointment!”

A call to Clarke County Central Dispatch revealed that the Sheriff’s Department had not been alerted that the load would be passing through Clarke County. The Sheriff’s Department dispatcher said that hazardous load violations were handled by the Virginia State Police. It was not clear if the Sheriff’s Department intended to refer the matter to the State Police or not.

Bricker Transport staffer casually waves to photographer as rush hour traffic piles up for miles behind the wide load - Photo Edward Leonard

The traffic interruption is the second to jam a Clarke County rush hour in less than a month. On July 6 a wide load caravan attempting to cross Snickers Gap came to a halt just east of the Shenandoah River on Route 7 near Rt. 643.  The eastbound lane of traffic was  closed all day causing significant backups for motorists.

Traffic jam heading west bound at Shenandoah River Bridge in Clarke County, Virginia - Photo Edward Leonard

Traffic jam heading west bound at Shenandoah River Bridge in Clarke County, Virginia - Photo Edward Leonard

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  1. charlie dick says:

    Slow news day, but Mr. Leonard prevails. Kudos …

    CDN Editor: Aw, shucks…

  2. J.C.Coon says:

    great photos!

  3. That Thing sat on route 28 for almost a week under the overpass near dulles towncenter, you can bet Loudoun County held them up for a while!

    • Tony Parrott says:

      I would have said that too but they had the hood up repairing that truck two days ago.
      Whoever decided to move that thing during rush hour was a moron.

  4. J.C.Coon says:

    only because I am nosey…I called Bricker. This truck is empty (weight 305 tons) It is on its way to Wallops Island, VA… could not cross “the bridge” in Southern VA. It has come from Mexico… where it was made. it is made of cryogenic material. Crossed over in Loredo,TX AR, MS,AL, FL GA, SC, NC and the VA. now is in WV, headded to MD,NJ,DEL, and back into Virginia. In Virginia it is only allowed to travel in the day time hours. other states only allow travel in the nite time. hence that is why it was traveling in Clarke Co in the day time.

  5. Thanks, J.C. I was wondering why something for Wallops (MARS) was headed the opposite direction!

    • Mimi Stein says:

      What, are we outsourcing the manufacturing of our missiles now? There is something really wrong when our national defense is at the mercy of the private sector and the profit motive.

      • Lonnie Bishop says:

        Clearly, you didn’t look at the pictures. It wasn’t a missile; it’s a cryogenic storage tank, designed to hold space-program liquids which have to be stored under super-cooled conditions. Thus, it’s composition and mass/weight.

        I do wonder why it couldn’t have been placed on a freight car and trransported via rail.

      • Even if it was a missile, it would be outsourced. The gov’t doesn’t manufacture anything. They contract it out as they should. The gov’t screws up everything it touches. You want them to manufacture missiles?

        • charlie dick says:

          John ranted: “The gov’t screws up everything it touches.”

          Stop. Just stop.

          There is no truth to such a statement. Perhaps you think anarchy is a viable alternative, or are you just channeling Karl Rove?

          • C.Dick, besides your SS check, name one thing they get right.

          • charlie dick says:

            I don’t draw SS, fyi.

            I’m curious … What’s your definition of “right?”

            Whatta you think this is, skeet practice?

      • charlie dick says:

        Mimi Stein posted: “There is something really wrong when our national defense is at the mercy of the private sector and the profit motive.”

        So you want the feds to manufacture what they purchase? Now that would be a sea change.

        Reminder: Ike Eisenhower warned us of the power of the military/industrial complex more than 50 years ago. Things aren’t that great now, but the decades of scrutiny have produced an acceptable level of transparency, imho.