ATRI lists worst spots for freight congestion Photo courtesy of VDOT

ATRI lists worst spots for freight congestion

Truckers in New Jersey, Illinois and Georgia face the worst freight congestion in the country, but it’s Texas that places three locations on the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) top 10 list.

The findings are part of the 2014 Congestion Impact Analysis of Freight-Significant Highway Locations. The study assessed the level of truck-oriented congestion at 250 locations on the national highway system, uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location.

The George Washington Bridge along I-95 connecting New York and Fort Lee, NJ, was rated the worst place for freight congestion, ATRI said, citing construction on the top deck of the bridge as the cause. Chicago, along I-290 at I-90/I-94 (Circle Interchange) was second. In third is Atlanta on I-285 at I-85 North.

The data is also used in conjunction with the FHWA-sponsored Freight Performance Measures (FPM) initiative.

The top ten on ATRI’s list are, in rank order:

  1. FORT LEE, NJ: I-95 AT SR 4
  2. CHICAGO, IL: I-290 AT I-90/I-94
  3. ATLANTA, GA: I-285 AT I-85 (NORTH)
  4. CINCINNATI, OH: I-71 AT I-75
  5. HOUSTON, TX: I-45 AT US 59
  6. HOUSTON, TX: I-610 AT US 290
  7. ST. LOUIS, MO: I-70 AT I-64 (WEST)
  8. LOS ANGELES, CA: SR 60 AT SR 57
  9. LOUISVILLE, KY: I-65 AT I-64/I-71
  10. AUSTIN, TX: I-35

“ATRI’s identification of congestion impacts at freight-significant locations is a critical tool in the transportation planning toolbox.  Better-informed decisions mean more targeted infrastructure investment at critical freight nodes,” said Matt Hart, president of the Illinois Trucking Assn. and a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee. “Here in Illinois we’re seeing first-hand how ATRI’s identification of the Circle Interchange as the number one freight bottleneck in previous studies led to a significant state investment to fix the chokepoint.”

The full report, including detailed information on the top 100, is available at



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