Semi trucks were lined up as far south as could be seen at the intersection of Jackson Street and S.R. 59 for more than two hours Thursday evening, and nobody seemed to know why.
The long lines of semi-trucks traveling north on S.R. 59 and eastward on U.S. 40 into Brazil Thursday afternoon puzzled residents, motorists, law enforcement and members of the state highway department.
Members of the Clay County Sheriff's Department and 911 dispatchers were unable to answer several curious residents' questions about why so many semi-trucks were in the area. There wasn't a reported accident, or any other explanation they were aware of for the long lines of traffic.
The Indiana State Highway Department, in Terre Haute, was also unable to provide an answer. No work crews were scheduled to be in the section of I-70 that goes through Clay County, according to officials.
Finally, the dispatchers at the Putnamville Post of the Indiana State Police had an answer for the puzzle.
"Semi-drivers, who find themselves stuck in traffic on I-70, sometimes take traffic control into their own hands and begin alerting other semi-drivers behind them, by CB radio, of the problem," a spokesperson said in a telephone interview. "Semi-drivers then begin to exit at off-ramps before the traffic jam. This happens around here every once in a while when road crews on the interstate back up traffic."
One eastbound lane of the interstate was closed to allow two separate road crews do repair work just miles from each other in the Putnam County section of I-70, causing the traffic jam.