Chicago highway bottlenecks among the worst in the nation

by Timothy Inklebarger

Chicago highway bottlenecks among the worst in the nation

The annual ranking of the top 100 worst bottlenecks for trucks in the country has hit the streets, and it will probably come as no surprise to Chicagoans that the metro area has some of the worst congestion in the country.

In fact, the American Transportation Research Institute’s 2020 Top Truck Bottleneck List notes that one of the top 10 worst bottlenecks in the country is in Chicago. The Windy City has a total of four on the list of 100.

According to ATRI, the sixth worst bottleneck in the country is in Chicago at I-290 and I-90/I-94.

That bottleneck took the top spot for the slowest average speed (21.7 mph) and the slowest average nonpeak traffic speed (23.8 mph). The average peak traffic speed at that bottleneck is the third worst in the country at 16.1 mph.

The remaining three bottlenecks in Chicago that made the list include:

  • 26th for I-90 at I-94 (North)
  • 28th for I-90 at I-94 (South)
  • 46th for I-80 at I-94

ATRI bases its analysis on GPS data collected from more than 1 million trucks, according to a press release. The study notes that “significant congestion” is defined as roadways where drivers experience daily speeds of 45 mph or less. Roadways with significant congestion have nearly doubled (up 92 percent) in the last five years.

The American Trucking Associations “has been beating the drum about the continued degradation of our infrastructure, and thanks to ATRI’s research we can see exactly how decades of ignoring the problem are impacting not just our industry but our economy and commuters everywhere,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said in the press release. “This report should sound the alarm for policymakers that the cost of doing nothing is too high and provide a roadmap of where to target investments to really solve our nation’s mounting infrastructure crisis.”

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