This morning, for at least the third time this summer, a commercial truck became stuck in Smugglers Notch, stopping traffic for hours.
Route 108 at Smugglers Notch in Jeffersonville was blocked and impassable in both directions for about four hours due to a commercial vehicle blocking the roadway this morning, state police said.
Police say Kevin Drayton was traveling south on Route 108S towards Stowe, when he chose to disobey several road signs advising tractor trailers were prohibited. As a result, Drayton got his tractor trailer unit stuck and the roadway was closed for about four hours. Drayton was issued the two applicable Vermont Civil Violation Complaints which have a combined monetary fine of $3,544.
Morning commuter traffic was significantly interrupted. This June, two tractor-trailer truckers were each fined thousands of dollars for violating the state law outlawing big rigs driving through the Notch.
Smugglers Notch has been an enticing ‘shortcut’ since the early 1800’s, reportedly first for smugglers flouting Pres. Thomas Jefferson’s embargo of British goods. The August 18 News & Citizen reports that printed references to a path through the notch go back as far as 1818. Pre-automotive roads were constructed but little used. “A road suitable for carriages was built in 1894 but was considered a joke as its hills were so steep that it was not suitable for travel in many places, with one section of the road even earning the nickname ‘Dead Horse Hill,’” writer Aaron Calvin reports.