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The traffic back-up was completely avoidable and unnecessarily impacted the lives and stress levels of thousands of area residents. The decision maker that allowed this to happen needs to be held accountable and at the very least owes a public apology to the community. If I were an attorney, I would be looking at into the feasibility of a class action lawsuit. Parents were seperated from children for hours, some paying late pick-up penalties to their day care providers or extra pay to sitters for the additional 2 - 3 hours it took to get home. Other parents were trapped in their cars on the bridge with screaming and hungry infants restrained in car seats and young children that had to use the bathroom with nowhere to pull off for more than an hour. People missed appointments, workers lost wages, and all of us experienced an undue amount of stress and frustration that could have been avoided. Those of us that commute between Brunswick and New Hanover County have certainly experienced a back-up at some point for an accident or a bridge opening and we accept these as frustrating fact of life, but this was ridiculous and should not have been allowed to occur. The excuse is that people were pulling off to steal wood? Really? So, they couldn't just park a patrol car there and clean up the mess after rush hour traffic had cleared? There were officers standing around during the clean-up process anyway doing not much of anything! If the answer to that is "no" because of additional costs that would have been incurred for lights/workers/equipment after hours - SO WHAT! What about the costs incurred by those of us that lost wages, had to pay extra childcare fees, burned at least a quarter tank of gas sitting in grid lock?! As a local tax payer, a concerned citizen and an irrate parent - I EXPECT ANSWERS!


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