Giant traffic bottlenecks delay the transport of a host of consumer products and other goods and cost the trucking industry billions of dollars annually.
A report published Wednesday, “The Nation’s Top Truck Bottlenecks” by the American Transportation Research Institute, or ATRI, listed the top 100 most congested bottlenecks for truckers in the U.S.
It said one thorny stretch of highway near Atlanta called “Spaghetti Junction” is the worst.
The analysis should be used to identify what highway projects are worthy of funding, especially as the Trump Administration is expected to focus on long-term infrastructure spending, said Chris Spear, president of the American Trucking Associations, or ATA.
“Ensuring the safe and efficient movement of goods should be a national priority,” Spear said.
Trucking accounts for about 70 percent of domestic freight transportation, including a wide variety of goods and commodities such as food, gasoline and consumer products. That represented $726.4 billion – or 81.2 percent – of U.S. shipping revenue last year, according to the ATA.
ATRI’s research is finding that highway traffic congestion adds huge costs to freight transport. The research group said traffic has a $49.6 billion impact annually as a result of 728 million lost hours of productivity. That is the equivalent of 264,500 truck drivers sitting idle for an entire year, the trade group said.
Spaghetti Junction, which is the intersection of I-285 and I-85 North in Atlanta topped the list for the second straight year. Six other interchanges in Atlanta also made the worst 100 list.
The four other worst bottlenecks included:
- Fort Lee, N.J – I-95 and State Route 4
- Chicago, Ill. – I-290 at I-90/I-94
- Louisville, Ky. – I-65 at I-64/I-71
- Cincinnati, Ohio – I-71 at I-75
Georgia trucking officials are resigned to their state faring poorly on the annual list.
“Honestly, the bottlenecks are as bad as they have been portrayed on the list,” said Ed Crowell, president of the Georgia Motor Trucking Association. “It’s not fun to be at the top of that list.”