Traveling over the river and through the woods for the holidays at grandmother’s house is an ordeal for all of us, but those attempting to make the trek in this Siberian region of northeast Russia are better off just staying home.
It’s not simply just that the region is home to possibly the coldest temperatures during winter, sometimes reaching -45 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, unlike most other roads, frozen conditions are preferable when it comes to Russian Federal Highway A360, which runs from Moscow in the west to the eastern town of Yakutsk. As drivers get closer to the Yakutia Republic capital city, the highway becomes a dirt road running parallel to the Lena River. When conditions get rainy, the road becomes so dangerous and muddy, it makes a frustrating bumper to bumper traffic jam look like a breeze.
In clear conditions, the dirt road is perfectly fine for travelers.
But when you add a little rain, it quickly becomes a swampy mess.
Anyone caught on the road in that situation is stuck dealing with the muddy quagmire.
Even before rainfall, the frozen ground thaws each summer into incredibly tricky terrain.
Traffic jams take on a whole new meaning with the wheels literally jammed into the muck.
Whether you have a fancy sports car…
Or a supposedly tough SUV, any vehicle will fall victim to the ruddy road.
The posted speed limit is 70 kilometers per hour (about 45 MPH here), but a commuter would be lucky to make less than half that speed in these conditions.
Government plans to build a bridge over the river to ease travel were put in motion last year, but funding was transferred to other infrastructure projects in the Crimean region. The nearly 300,00 residents who use this road are left still waiting for a solution.