Atlanta Tops ATRI's Bottleneck List Again

January 25, 2017

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Atlanta's Spaghetti Junction and the surrounding congestion it causes were tracked by ATRI for its 2017 Top Truck Bottleneck List. Image via ATRI
Atlanta's Spaghetti Junction and the surrounding congestion it causes were tracked by ATRI for its 2017 Top Truck Bottleneck List. Image via ATRI

Atlanta’s Spaghetti Junction has again topped the American Transportation Research Institute’s Top Truck Bottleneck List, which tracks the 100 most congested sections of American roads for the trucking industry.

ATRI assesses terabytes of GPS data from more than 600,000 heavy-duty trucks over the course of a year to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location. That data is used to determine the level of truck-oriented congestion at 250 locations on the national highway system.

The full list of data available on ATRI’s website gives a comprehensive breakdown of each location, showing peak hours and areas of congestion on a map. The data also shows speeds at peak congestion compared with typical speeds without congestion. This breakdown of data can be used by fleets to avoid congestion when possible, either by using alternate routes or by traveling at off-peak times.

The data can also be a useful tool for determining needs in our infrastructure, allowing the government to pinpoint areas that need expansion or updating. With a long-term infrastructure bill likely to be a top priority for President Trump and Congress, information on problem areas can help with funneling funds where they are most useful.

The Chicago, Ill., interchange where Interstate 290 meets Interstate 90 and 94, has moved down a slot since last year. ATRI said in a media call that the city has initiated a large construction project in the area to address the problem, partly because it was included on the list.

ATRI was also quick to point out that increased congestion in the top two positions of Atlanta, Ga., and Fort Lee, N.J., were likely the cause of Chicago's drop to number three.

"With President Trump expected to press for significant long-term infrastructure spending, this ATRI analysis should be a key guide for deciding what projects are worthy of funding," said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. "Ensuring the safe and efficient movement of goods should be a national priority and this report draws attention to the places where our highway network needs improvement in order to meet that goal."

The Top 10 bottlenecks in the U.S. are:

  • I-285 at I-85 (North) in Atlanta, Ga.
  • I-95 at State Route 4 in Fort Lee, N.J.
  • I-290 at I-90/94 in Chicago, Ill.
  • I-65 at I-64/71 in Louisville, Ky.
  • I-71 at I-75 in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • SR 60 at SR 57 in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • SR 18 at SR 167 in Auburn, Wash.
  • I-45 at US 59 in Houston, Texas
  • I-75 at I-285 North in Atlanta, Ga.
  • I-5 at I-90 in Seattle, Wash.

For access to the full report, including detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations, click here.

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