News roundup, Feb. 19: G.W. Bridge remains worst interchange for truck congestion; I-70 in Kansas City closing in both directions this weekend

Updated Feb 20, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020:

The interchange of I-95 and State Route 4 near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is the worst truck freight bottleneck in the country, according to ATRI data.The interchange of I-95 and State Route 4 near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is the worst truck freight bottleneck in the country, according to ATRI data.

George Washington Bridge is worst truck bottleneck in U.S., ATRI reports
The intersection of I-95 and State Route 4 near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is the worst freight bottleneck in the country for the second year in a row, according to data compiled by the American Transportation Research Institute.

ATRI’s “2020 Top Truck Bottleneck List” analyzes the level of truck-involved congestion at 300 locations across the U.S. using truck GPS data from more than 1 million trucks.

The firm found that the number of locations experiencing “significant congestion” – with average daily speeds of 45 mph or less – has increased by 92% in the last five years.

The average truck speed at the G.W. Bridge interchange is 29.7 miles per hour, with an average truck speed during rush hour of 22.4 miles per hour. The average rush hour speed at this location increased by 5.1% in 2019, ATRI reports.

In addition to the G.W. Bridge, among the top 10 freight bottlenecks in the country are three intersections in Atlanta, two in Los Angeles, and one each in Nashville, Houston, Chicago and Cincinnati. The top 10 freight bottlenecks are:

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

Overall, Texas leads the way with the most truck bottlenecks with 11, followed by California, Georgia and New York with 7 each.

ATRI says congestion costs the trucking industry $74.5 billion each year with 1.2 billion lost hours of productivity, which is the equivalent of 425,533 trucks sitting idle for an entire year.

The full 2020 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.

Florida converting I-4 rest area to trucks-only
A rest stop on eastbound Interstate 4 in Longwood, Florida, will close to motorists and become a trucks-only facility as part of a larger construction project.

Work on the rest stop, which is located about two miles north of State Road 434, was set to begin Tuesday, Feb. 18. Florida DOT officials said they don’t expect any changes to the truck parking area or the use of the facility for truck drivers.

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The change is to accommodate the creation of a stormwater pond to be built for a new eastbound I-4 auxiliary lane, according to FDOT.

I-70 in Kansas City to close this weekend
Missouri DOT crews will close a portion of I-70 in both directions this weekend for the demolition of the old I-435 bridges over I-70. The closure will begin Friday, Feb. 21, at 10 p.m. and last until approximately 5 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24.

The westbound lanes will be closed between Route 291/I-470 and I-435. Eastbound lanes will be closed at I-435.

Drivers needing to continue westbound or eastbound on I-70 are advised to take I-470 around the closure.