Truck speeds at the top 10 most congested locations in the U.S. dropped by nearly 9% as...

Truck speeds at the top 10 most congested locations in the U.S. dropped by nearly 9% as congestion worsened along the nation's busiest freight roadways.

Photo via U.S. DOT

For the first time since 2014, New Jersey has topped the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual list of the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in the country.

The Intersection of Interstate 95 and State Route 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey was the worst freight bottleneck in the U.S., based on GPS data taken from nearly 1 million heavy duty trucks. If you find yourself driving through this bottleneck at peak traffic hours, your average speed will be just 23 mph.  While New Jersey holds the dubious honor this year, it may be the city of Atlanta that sucks the most hours out of a truck driver’s day. The capital of Georgia hosts three of the ten worst bottlenecks in the country.

Houston’s bottleneck where Interstate 45 meets Interstate 69/U.S. 59 was only the fifth worst bottleneck on the list, but Texas as a whole was the state with worst congestion overall. The state also held positions 13, 16, 22, 24, 27 and 42 in the top 100, split between locations in Houston, Dallas and Austin.

"Texas has a growing population and a booming economy," said John D. Esparza, Texas Trucking Association president and CEO.  "But traffic congestion could bring all of that to a standstill.  Using ATRI's bottleneck analysis as a guide, we need to ensure that our investment in transportation infrastructure aligns with our desire to continue that growth.”

The rest of the Top 10 includes:

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 the top 10 locations dropped by an average of nearly 9% as congestion worsened along the nation’s busiest freight roadways. ATRI compiles the yearly list of the top 100 most congested locations in the country to support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s freight mobility initiatives. Researchers look at 300 locations across the country and collect terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location.

The full list of top congested locations is available on ATRI’s website at

“This report should be a wakeup call for elected leaders at all levels of government that we must act quickly to address our increasingly congested highway system,” said Chris Spear ATA president and CEO. “Without meaningful investment in our nation’s infrastructure, carriers will continue to endure billions of dollars in congestion-related costs – which results in a self-inflicted drag on our economy.”

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