George Washington Bridge leads 10 most congested freight bottlenecks in U.S.

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Updated Feb 17, 2019
ATRI released Tuesday its 2019 Top Truck Bottleneck List, showing the top 100 congested interchanges for freight across the U.S.ATRI released Tuesday its 2019 Top Truck Bottleneck List, showing the top 100 congested interchanges for freight across the U.S.

While Texas is home to the most congested freight corridors in the U.S., a New Jersey interchange is the worst bottleneck in the country, according to the American Transportation Research Institute’s updated 2019 Top Truck Bottleneck List.

For the first time since 2014, the George Washington Bridge on the New Jersey side at the interchange of I-95 and State Route 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is the top freight bottleneck in the U.S. The average truck speed at this interchange is 31 miles per hour, with an average truck speed during rush hour of 23 miles per hour. The average rush hour speed at this location decreased by 7.65 percent in 2018, ATRI reports.

This location overtakes Atlanta’s “Spaghetti Junction” interchange at I-285 and I-85, which held the top spot for the previous three years in a row.

The 2019 Top Truck Bottleneck List was compiled by ATRI using GPS data from nearly one million trucks at 300 congested locations across the country. The top 10 freight bottlenecks in the U.S. are:

  1. Fort Lee, New Jersey: I-95 at SR 4
  2. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  3. Atlanta: I-75 at I-285 (North)
  4. Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57
  5. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59
  6. Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75
  7. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  8. Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)
  9. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
  10. Los Angeles: I-710 at I-105

ATRI’s analysis found that year-over-year truck speeds across these top 10 locations dropped by an average of nearly 9 percent as congestion worsened along the nation’s busiest freight highways.

Thirteen of the top 100 worst freight bottlenecks are in Texas, with nine of those being located in Houston. Other states with a significant number of freight bottlenecks are California with seven; Connecticut, Georgia and Washington state with six each; Maryland/D.C., Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania with five each; and Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee with four each.

The interchange with the biggest speed increase year-over-year was in Corona, California, at I-15 and State Route 91, which saw a 22.25 percent rush hour speed increase year-over-year.

The interchange with the biggest slow-down in 2018 was I-94 at U.S. Highway 52 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which saw an 18.67 percent decrease in average rush hour speeds.

The full 2019 Top Truck Bottleneck List can be found here. By clicking on a bottleneck in the list, viewers can see which hours are the most congested for each location.