After circling the D.C. area for days, a convoy of truck drivers and others protesting COVID-19 restrictions are causing major traffic delays in a detour through “the swamp” during rush hour on Monday (March 14) evening.
The convoy brought traffic to a grinding halt on some roadways as hundreds of trucks and SUVs headed into the District. Police and transportation officials blocked exit ramps to limit access to the downtown area.
Backups could be seen at 4 p.m. along I-695 near the exits for the U.S. Capitol, as well as on the 14th Street Bridge and I-395. A line of tractor-trailers with American flags and signs could be seen, including one reading “Freedom.” Local authorities say to expect rolling road closures as the People’s Convoy passes through D.C. and heads back to Hagerstown, Maryland.
The D.C. detour represented an escalation in the group’s tactics after an application by convoy leaders for a nearly two-week permitted protest on the National Mall was partially denied.
“I believe we’re making a good statement today,” said one truck driver whose journey was live-streamed under the account ZOT on YouTube. “We’re right in the swamp now and creating a horrible mess down here.”