ATRI releases 2018 list of worst bottlenecks

January 25, 2018

Mark Schremmer


For the third consecutive year, Atlanta’s “Spaghetti Junction” was considered the most congested truck bottleneck in the United States, according to a study released by the American Transportation Research Institute.

The 2018 Top Truck Bottleneck List assesses the level of truck-oriented congestion at 300 locations on the national highway system. The analysis, based on truck GPS data from more than 800,000 heavy-duty trucks, uses customized software applications and analysis methods along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking from each location, according to ATRI.

“‘When your trucks are moving, America is growing,’ is what President Trump told the trucking industry last October,” said Dennis Nash, CEO of tank truck transporter and logistics provider Kenan Advantage Group, North Canton, Ohio. “Unfortunately, as ATRI’s report shows, increasingly our trucks are not moving because of congestion, choke points and bottlenecks on an aging highway system. Addressing congestion and delays at these key interchanges and highways can make our supply chain more efficient, improve the environment by reducing fuel burn and save Americans countless hours of delay and added costs.”

Atlanta’s Spaghetti Junction, which is the intersection of Interstates 285 and 85 North, has an average speed of only 24.7 mph during peak traffic hours.

In addition to Spaghetti Junction, Atlanta is home to six additional bottlenecks in the top 100. The other Atlanta bottlenecks on the list:

  • No. 4, Atlanta: I-75 at I-285 (North)
  • No. 17, Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)
  • No. 46, Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (East)
  • No. 79, Atlanta: I-20 at I-75/I-85
  • No. 90, Atlanta: I-75 at I-85
  • No. 95, Atlanta: I-75 at I-675

“As a hub of commerce and transportation in the Southeast, Atlanta is a vital junction for the flow of goods and ATRI’s research shows us where that flow gets disrupted by congestion,” Georgia Motor Trucking Association President Ed Crowell said in a news release. “Congestion costs our industry and consumers billions of dollars and that is why we urge policy makers to come up with a bold plan to rebuild and modernize our roads and bridges and use ATRI’s bottlenecks report as a roadmap for where are investments are most needed.”

The entire top 10 is as follows:

  • No. 1, Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  • No. 2, Fort Lee, N.J.: I-95 at SR 4
  • No. 3, Chicago: I-290 at I90/I-94
  • No. 4, Atlanta: I-75 at I-285 (North)
  • No. 5, Los Angeles: SR60 at SR57
  • No. 6, Boston: I-95 at I-90
  • No. 7, Baltimore: I-695 at I-70
  • No. 8, Queens, N.Y.: I-495
  • No. 9, Cincinnati: I-71 at I-75
  • No. 10, Louisville, Ky.: I-65 at I-64/I-71

The full top 100 can be found here.

“Measuring the performance of freight movement across our nation’s highways is critical to understanding where and at what level investment should be made,” the ATRI report said. “The information provided through this effort can empower decision making in both the public and private sectors by helping stakeholders better understand the severity of congestion and mobility constraints on the U.S. highway transportation system.”