Think back to the last time you were in some bad traffic. Now imagine said traffic lasting for nine days, with drivers living off food they've bought from road-side stalls that have quadrupled their prices as cars wait in a procession that spans 62 miles. Yeah, it's happening in China right now.
The congestion apparently started to build up on August 14th, when several trucks carrying heavy cargo to the nation's capital began to slow things down. Slow it down enough, apparently, that road construction five days later on the Beijing-Tibet expressway ground things to a halt.
Drivers have been encouraged to use detours rather than enter the crawl, but some folks see that as increasing the cost of travel by having them go out of their way. They'd much rather just pull up to the pile and wait.
The Beijing-Tibet expressway is apparently prone to congestion like this and it could last weeks longer. The heavy roadwork coupled with the fact that Beijing, a city 20 million strong, requires a lot of goods delivered by truck.