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ATRI unveils U.S.’ top 10 freight bottlenecks

Freight bottleneck, “Spaghetti Junction” in Atlanta – the intersection of I-285 and I-85 North

ATRI’s research determined the top freight bottleneck in the U.S. is “Spaghetti Junction” in Atlanta – the intersection of I-285 and I-85 North.

For the third year in a row, Atlanta’s “Spaghetti Junction” intersection of I-285 and I-85 North is the most congested freight bottleneck in the country, according to research from the American Transportation Research Institute.

ATRI researchers determined through its data the average speed at this junction is 37 miles per hour, with an average speed during peak traffic times of 24.7 miles per hour.

The 2018 Top Truck Bottleneck List was compiled by ATRI using GPS data from more than 800,000 trucks at 300 congested locations across the country. The top 10 freight bottlenecks, according to ATRI’s data, are:

  1. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 North with an average peak speed of 24.7 mph
  2. Fort Lee, N.J.: I-95 at State Route 4 (George Washington Bridge) with an average peak speed of 24.9 mph
  3. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94, known as the Circle Interchange with an average peak speed of 21.2 mph
  4. Atlanta: I-75 at I-285 North with an average peak speed of 30.4 mph
  5. Los Angeles: State Route 60 at State Route 57 with an average peak speed of 34.2 mph
  6. Boston: I-95 at I-90 with an average peak speed of 33.8 mph
  7. Baltimore: I-695 at I-70 with an average peak speed of 37.2 mph
  8. Queens, N.Y.: I-495 with an average peak speed of 17.6 mph
  9. Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75 with an average speed of 39.1 mph
  10. Louisville, Ky.: I-65 at I-64/I-71 with an average peak speed of 37.4 mph

The full 2018 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.

Intersections with the biggest speed increases year-over-year include Cranston, R.I., at the I-95 intersection with Route 37, which saw an average peak speed increase from 35 mph to 45 mph; and the No. 10 location, the Louisville intersection of I-65 at I-64 and I-71, which increased from 32 mph to 37 mph during peak hours.

The largest speed decreases year-over-year were seen in Port Huron, Mich., at the intersection of I-94 and I-69, which dropped from a 38 mph average peak speed to 30 mph average peak speed; and the I-40 intersection with I-240 East in Memphis, Tenn., which dropped from 36 mph at peak times to 31 mph during peak hours.

Texas is home to the most freight bottlenecks that appear on ATRI’s list with 11 congestion points. Seven of the 11 Texas locations are in Houston. Tennessee has the second-most freight bottlenecks with nine, five of which are in Nashville.

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.