A minor collision on the A19 near the Peterlee flyover caused huge tailbacks for traffic on the southbound carriageway.
Two cars collided in the overtaking lane near the Shotton turn off at 7.20am today.
A spokesman for Durham Police said although it was a minor accident, with no reported injuries, it did cause problems for motorists.
He said: “It did cause problems for motorists, but fortunately no-one was injured.
“The road should be back fully opened and running as normal by mid-morning.”