The Nation's Worst Truck Bottleneck

The interchange topped the list for the fourth year in a row.

The American Transportation Research Institute on Feb. 9 released its annual list of America’s 100 most congested bottlenecks for trucks — and it makes the biggest instigator even more infamous.

Using GPS data from more than 1 million freight trucks to analyze congestion, ATRI found that the intersection of Interstate 95 and State Route 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey, topped the list for a fourth straight year as the worst truck bottleneck in the U.S.

The interchange just west of the George Washington Bridge is where I-95 meets Route 4 along the border between New Jersey and New York. The stretch is a major logistics corridor for the Ports of New York and New Jersey, as well as for general traffic in America’s largest metropolitan area. Port Authority data showed that traffic on the George Washington Bridge increased 17% during the first 11 months of 2021 compared to 2020 as industry and consumer activity picked up coming out of 2020’s pandemic lockdowns.

In addition, ATRI data showed that the average speed at that intersection was a blazing 30.1 miles per hour during January to November 2021, slowing to 22.4 mph during peak traffic — 28.2% slower than it was during 2020.

Other major truck bottlenecks in ATRI’s top 5 included I-71 at I-75 in Cincinnati, I-45 at I-69/US 59 in Houston, and Atlanta’s I-285 at I-85 North and I-20 at I-285 West.

Although New Jersey had the worst bottleneck, Texas led all states with 14 bottlenecks in the top 100, including four of the top 15. Georgia and Tennessee each had nine, California had eight and Washington had seven.

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