Houston received the most entries among the top 100 trucking bottlenecks in the country, according to the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) annual list of congestion hot spots for carriers and drivers.
With eight bottleneck areas on ATRI’s 2021 ranking, Houston was followed by Atlanta (No. 6) and Los Angeles (No. 4) as U.S. cities with the most bottlenecks.
“ATRI’s bottleneck report highlights where our most critical issues are and should be a guide for policymakers at the state and federal level,” commented American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear. “The cost of doing nothing is always higher than the cost of fixing these problems and we cannot wait any longer to address this mounting crisis.”
ATRI’s 2021 Top Truck Bottlenecks measured truck-involved congestion at over 300 locations on the national highway system over the previous year. The analysis was based on truck GPS data from over 1 million trucks. Trucking companies use the data to select routes to avoid congestion while drivers use it to plan hours-of-service breaks. The information is also used by policy planners to target infrastructure investment.
The intersection of I-95 and SR 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey – near the western approach to the notoriously backed-up George Washington Bridge in New York City – ranked as the No. 1 freight bottleneck in the country for the third year in a row.
The Top 10 congestion hotspots in the U.S. according to ATRI:
|1. Fort Lee, New Jersey||I-95 at SR 4|
|2. Cincinnati||I-71 at I-75|
|3. Atlanta||I-285 at I-85 (North)|
|4. Atlanta||I-20 at I-285 (West)|
|5. Houston||I-45 at I-69/US 59|
|6. Chicago||I-290 at I-90/I-94|
|7. Chattanooga, Tennessee||I-75 at I-24|
|8. St. Louis||I-64/I-55 at I-44|
|9. Rye, New York||I-95 at I-287|
|10. San Bernardino, California||I-10 at I-15|
The states with the most number of bottlenecks among the top 100 were Texas (12), California (8), Washington (8), Connecticut (7), Georgia (7) and Pennsylvania (7), with 29 states listed as having at least one bottleneck.
Average peak-hour truck speed was 43 mph, up 34% from last year. ATRI noted that average truck speeds at 25% of the bottlenecks were 45 mph or less, which it said reflected a return to pre-pandemic freight demand during the year and the effect of roadway construction projects. When traffic levels increased in the second half of the year, those construction projects became even more congested, according to the group.
“While everyone else sheltered in place in 2020, trucks kept rolling, delivering essential goods to communities large and small,” commented CRST International President and CEO Hugh Ekberg. “Unfortunately, congestion continues to impact our operations and affect our drivers’ ability to deliver for America.”
- North Jersey interchange worst truck bottleneck in U.S.
- Lack of traffic bottlenecks helps speed freight
- Truck traffic normalizes at faster speeds with less hard braking