Highway 401 reopens near Lansdowne following closure east of Kingston

With a lengthy closure on Highway 401 dragging into a second day, frustrated travellers and truck drivers were stranded at stops along the highway east of Kingston, Ont. Wednesday. 

Ontario Provincial Police said Wednesday evening the eastbound and westbound lanes of the 401 at the site of the crash are open after the cleanup from a series of collisions Tuesday that involved dozens of vehicles and spilled fluorosilicic acid.

The westbound and eastbound lanes between Reynolds Road to Mallorytown Road had been closed for more than 30 hours as crews cleaned up the scene and the toxic spill. 

​​Guelph's Peter Subar said when he booked a family trip with his wife and 14-year-old son to see a Montreal Canadiens game, he never imagined he'd be stranded between two of Canada's biggest cities.

"It feels like the apocalypse," he said, before throwing his hands up and declaring he might as well try heading to the United States first.

Other drivers packed into the Onroute — the provincial rest stop — many with their feet up and jackets off. Some people said they were headed to March Break vacations with their kids, on their way home after visiting with family or pausing during a business trip.

David and Leanne Dominey were trying to get home to Shelbourne, Ont. after a surprise birthday trip to Montreal.

For Ziad Sakr, the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 401 was made worse by the fact that his three small children are anxious to get to their March Break getaway in Niagara Falls.

Wednesday afternoon's crowd was nothing compared with yesterday at the Mallorytown Onroute, said manager Brenna Kelly, when hundreds of people packed the service station.

She said people have been very understanding, but frustrated and confused by the situation.

Even seasoned truck drivers said they were surprised with how long the detours are lasting. Sylvain Cloutier said it's like nothing he's seen in his 35 years driving a truck.