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Author Topic: The worst point of an Interstate highway along that highways entire stretch  (Read 4331 times)

Flint1979

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I've been traveling on I-75 for pretty much my whole life and I think I finally figured out the worst point on all of I-75 yesterday. I was cruising along in Ohio and got through most of Cincinnati just fine until I hit the bridge over the Ohio River and I-71 coming in. I sat in traffic for about 15-20 minutes and made it fine going southbound to Lexington after that. I just thought to myself that I hit this point in I-75 all the time and always seem to hit traffic along this stretch every time I come through it. I think I have I-75 covered unless someone has another spot just as bad like in Atlanta and I know in my home state Detroit doesn't have too many awful spots along I-75, maybe in Oakland County around the Big Beaver-14 Mile area but nothing as bad as Cincinnati even with that 25 mph curve downtown where I-75 switches from the Chrysler to the Fisher Cincinnati is worse. My whole point is if you know of the worst spot along any Interstate what is it?
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I think I recall threads along similar lines, though not exactly the same, in the past.

The worst spot on I-490 is right here: one of the only places in the world where the speed limit increases and travel speeds decrease!  :banghead:
Also bad (and subject of my frequent complaints) is right here, where 1/2 or more of the traffic tries to squeeze into the rightmost lane every afternoon, creating road rage, and backing up traffic for several miles.

I-390 only has one "bad spot", and it is being fixed. A lane reconfiguration is underway here; when finished, all three lanes will continue beyond the I-490 East exit, and then the left lane will exit onto I-490 West instead. This will not only reduce left-lane driving, it will also better match lanes to volumes (nobody is heading into downtown in the afternoon, anyways).

I-90 is a monstrosity, and I haven't traveled over half of it, so I can't really say.
If we talk specific to NYS, then probably the infamous Exit 24 in Albany. The toll barriers in Buffalo can generate backups, too.
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jp the roadgeek

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The I-91 Exit 29 connection from I-91 North to US 5/CT 15 North, and eventually, I-84 East. Right lane for the one lane ramp is often backed up for a half mile.  The interchange is just beginning reconstruction, but it’s an extremely deficient connection often used by those traveling from NYC to Boston.  I’ve often found it easier to get off Exit 27, do an off and on and get on 15 North.  At least with the return trip, you have a secret alternate to the main ramp to 91 South.

The I-91 southern terminus to I-95 used to take the cake when 4 lanes used to funnel into 1 to make the connection.
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I've been traveling on I-75 for pretty much my whole life and I think I finally figured out the worst point on all of I-75 yesterday. I was cruising along in Ohio and got through most of Cincinnati just fine until I hit the bridge over the Ohio River and I-71 coming in. I sat in traffic for about 15-20 minutes and made it fine going southbound to Lexington after that. I just thought to myself that I hit this point in I-75 all the time and always seem to hit traffic along this stretch every time I come through it. I think I have I-75 covered unless someone has another spot just as bad like in Atlanta and I know in my home state Detroit doesn't have too many awful spots along I-75, maybe in Oakland County around the Big Beaver-14 Mile area but nothing as bad as Cincinnati even with that 25 mph curve downtown where I-75 switches from the Chrysler to the Fisher Cincinnati is worse. My whole point is if you know of the worst spot along any Interstate what is it?

I've never really had issues on the Kentucky side of the river unless there's a wreck or road work. My problems with Cincinnati are the Norwood Lateral-Paddock Road area, and also Sharonville just south of I-275.

In bad weather, you don't want to be on I-75 near the Rockcastle River crossing and on the hills on either side of it. There's been some massive traffic tie-ups during snowstorms.

I'm not a fan of I-75 in general, but to me, two trouble spots are 1.) the Pine Mountain crossing south of Jellico just as you enter Tennessee. The route is only two lanes in each direction with no chance of being widened in any of our lifetimes, which means micropassing trucks and total closures when there are wrecks. Plus, there have been enough slides and slips along that stretch that you never know when the road's going to be down to one lane for repairs. And 2.), the ramp to I-640 west where through I-75 traffic is narrowed to one lane in a metro area.

Of the routes that I've clinched that are in my area, here are my opinions:

I-64: The St. Louis double-decker, downtown Louisville, most of the WV Turnpike, the I-81 concurrency, and the HRBT.

I-66: everything inside US 15.

I-68: Cumberland

I-71: downtown Cincinnati and downtown Columbus.

I-77: the WV turnpike between Cabin Creek and Mossy/Pax.
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Flint1979

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I've been traveling on I-75 for pretty much my whole life and I think I finally figured out the worst point on all of I-75 yesterday. I was cruising along in Ohio and got through most of Cincinnati just fine until I hit the bridge over the Ohio River and I-71 coming in. I sat in traffic for about 15-20 minutes and made it fine going southbound to Lexington after that. I just thought to myself that I hit this point in I-75 all the time and always seem to hit traffic along this stretch every time I come through it. I think I have I-75 covered unless someone has another spot just as bad like in Atlanta and I know in my home state Detroit doesn't have too many awful spots along I-75, maybe in Oakland County around the Big Beaver-14 Mile area but nothing as bad as Cincinnati even with that 25 mph curve downtown where I-75 switches from the Chrysler to the Fisher Cincinnati is worse. My whole point is if you know of the worst spot along any Interstate what is it?

I've never really had issues on the Kentucky side of the river unless there's a wreck or road work. My problems with Cincinnati are the Norwood Lateral-Paddock Road area, and also Sharonville just south of I-275.

In bad weather, you don't want to be on I-75 near the Rockcastle River crossing and on the hills on either side of it. There's been some massive traffic tie-ups during snowstorms.

I'm not a fan of I-75 in general, but to me, two trouble spots are 1.) the Pine Mountain crossing south of Jellico just as you enter Tennessee. The route is only two lanes in each direction with no chance of being widened in any of our lifetimes, which means micropassing trucks and total closures when there are wrecks. Plus, there have been enough slides and slips along that stretch that you never know when the road's going to be down to one lane for repairs. And 2.), the ramp to I-640 west where through I-75 traffic is narrowed to one lane in a metro area.

Of the routes that I've clinched that are in my area, here are my opinions:

I-64: The St. Louis double-decker, downtown Louisville, most of the WV Turnpike, the I-81 concurrency, and the HRBT.

I-66: everything inside US 15.

I-68: Cumberland

I-71: downtown Cincinnati and downtown Columbus.

I-77: the WV turnpike between Cabin Creek and Mossy/Pax.
I think part of the problem with the choke in Cincinnati is that I-75 there narrows down to two lanes as it enters the interchange with I-71 in downtown Cincinnati. There is no chance that it's going to get widened anytime soon because there simply is no room to widen it.
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plain

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Even though I've never been to Florida or Maine, I'm certain the worst spot on I-95 is the Cross Bronx Expwy... that shit is almost never not congested. And I'm saying this even given the fact that it's I-95...

I-64: The St. Louis double-decker, downtown Louisville, most of the WV Turnpike, the I-81 concurrency, and the HRBT.

I-66: everything inside US 15.

I-68: Cumberland

I've never been to Saint Louis but I've been to the other I-64 spots quite a few times. Also bad is the High Rise Bridge (in Chesapeake) and the overlap with I-95. The HRBT definitely has them all beat, though.

I-66 is hell any way you look at it for sure, but that part inside the Beltway... either 3 or more heads or pay an arm & a leg!

Agreed with I-68!!
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jeffandnicole

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I-76 (east):  Schuylkill Expressway

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silverback1065

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465 between keystone ave and i-69 thankfully it will be fixed next yr
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1995hoo

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I think the worst part of I-66 is the eastbound stretch from roughly the West Falls Church Metro stop past the Dulles merge to Exit 69 for US-29 when the road returns to two lanes. You have two lanes of thru traffic on I-66 and two lanes of traffic merging onto I-66 from the Dulles Access Road Extension. One of those entering lanes ends and the other becomes exit-only at Exit 69, meaning a lot of the entering traffic has to push left, and some of the thru traffic already on I-66 will attempt to use the right lanes to cut ahead. This stretch has always backed up regardless of whether it's the morning or the afternoon.

Hopefully the widening project to add a third lane eastbound from Exit 69 to Exit 71 (Ballston) will alleviate the congestion at this spot.

Certainly other areas of I-66 have heavy congestion on a regular basis, but that particular spot seems to me to be the one spot that is the most consistent problem because it happens at all hours, not just during the morning rush hour ("morning" because that's when normally you'd expect the inbound lanes to be at their worst).
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vdeane

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I-90 is a monstrosity, and I haven't traveled over half of it, so I can't really say.
If we talk specific to NYS, then probably the infamous Exit 24 in Albany. The toll barriers in Buffalo can generate backups, too.
Possibly eastbound (never traveled that direction in rush hour, so hard to say); westbound, the bigger factor is the trifecta of heavy merges from NY 85, the state office campus, and Fuller Road and the ramp to I-87 north, creating a situation very similar to I-490 approaching the Can of Worms.  Buffalo's big issue with I-90 is probably the I-290 interchange more than Williamsville.  Nationwide, the worst spot is probably somewhere in Chicago.

For I-87, the worst spot is probably the interchange with I-95, since backups from the Cross-Bronx and George Washington Bridge regularly spill over onto the Deegan.
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bzakharin

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I-295 (DE-NJ-PA) is the Al-Jo Curve that's part of the I-295/I-76/NJ 42 interchange. It's in the process of being eliminated, though the current temporary configuration creates a second worst point Northbound, where there is only one thru lane on I-295 (the right lane ends and the remaining right lane is exit only as two lanes entering from the left become the new thru lanes).
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hbelkins

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    • Millennium Highway

I think part of the problem with the choke in Cincinnati is that I-75 there narrows down to two lanes as it enters the interchange with I-71 in downtown Cincinnati. There is no chance that it's going to get widened anytime soon because there simply is no room to widen it.

When they build the parallel span to the Brent Spence Bridge, that will be addressed.
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TheHighwayMan394

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I-35 would be through downtown Kansas City, including the I-70 duplex.
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Jmiles32

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My guess for I-81 would be either around Roanoke or the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area.
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Brandon

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I-90 is a monstrosity, and I haven't traveled over half of it, so I can't really say.
If we talk specific to NYS, then probably the infamous Exit 24 in Albany. The toll barriers in Buffalo can generate backups, too.

They pale when compared to the stretch between O'Hare (I-294) and the Stevenson Expressway (I-55).  This part can cause a backup at 3 freaking am.

Ditto for I-94.  Its worst part is between the end of the Edens Extension (where it meets US-41) and the Stevenson Expressway (I-55).  Of course, the part with I-80 is no picnic either.

I-80: Wanna see wall-to-wall trucks?  Then visit I-80's worst part between the end of the Tri-State Tollway (I-294) and the Indiana Toll Road (I-90).  And that's including the Sierras which one can explain away by heavy snow.

I-55: No matter what some downstate may say, the worst bit is from Arsenal Road (Exit 244) north to Lake Shore Drive (US-41).  And that includes switching roadways in Memphis (twice) and St Louis.

I-57: US-30 north to the Ryan Expressway (I-94), of which the worst is probably the last three curves before I-94.
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I-80: where to start, where to start..........
How about right at the western terminus, where the Bay Bridge crossing and most of the ensuing freeway right up the Carquinez Strait is a nightmare almost every waking hour during the week -- and the weekends are starting to catch up!  Then there's the Sacramento section from the "Biz 80" merge near Watt Ave. to out past Rocklin -- more commute nightmare; almost as bad as the Alameda/Contra Costa segment.  Going east, I've hit dead-stop congestion several times on the segment shared with I-94 in IL and IN; and the last 30 miles prior to the eastern terminus can be hell on wheels as well.  And these are merely the sections with which I've had personal experience; I'm certain other posters can and should point out other I-80 segments that are perpetually troublesome -- although somehow I doubt it would be worse than the extreme western end!
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I'd say for my nearby I-93 would be the Southeast Expressway stretch from Boston to Braintree MA. It's most sub-standard part is also its nicest, Franconia Notch in NH.
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I-96: Probably around the I-275/I-696 interchange
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The worst part of I-95 that I have been on has to be in  the Bronx. I live in a fairly urban area, so I prefer rural interstates. The cross Bronx is just a traffic infested mess.
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I'll give "worst" in 2 different ways, traffic and boredom. Answers are roughly in order, worst first, though some of them I don't have extensive experience with.

I-84 (W)
Traffic:
Banfield in Portland (I-5 to I-205)
4 lane bottleneck in Nampa, ID (luckily construction has started to fix, or at least reduce, this)
Section between Boise and Meridian, from I-184 to ID-55/Eagle Rd. The main bottleneck is merging traffic from I-184 coming from downtown. Traffic can back up on both highways for a couple miles.

Boredom:
I find the section between Pendleton and Boardman to be far more boring that anything else. Even though, many of the areas in Idaho are similarly flat, featureless, etc. That's the part that stands out. Maybe because the Speed Limit is 70 and not 80, plus that's surrounded by the quite interesting Columbia Gorge and Cabbage Hill/Blue Mountains. I bet also because I've driven the highway west of Boise much more than I've driven it to the east. Between Boise and Mountain Home is definitely the runner up though, more boring than anywhere else in Idaho.

I-5
Traffic:
Approaches to the Interstate Bridge at the WA/OR border
Lots of places in LA, really, but let's go with the East LA Interchange
The 4 lane bottleneck near the Rose Quarter in Portland
Downtown Seattle

Boredom:
Between Grapevine/Wheeler Ridge and Stockton
Between Sacramento and Redding. The worst part is this one and the above combine to make one really long boring stretch, with only Sacramento and Stockton to slightly break it up.
Between Eugene and Albany

Those are the only 2dis I can give good opinions on as a whole highway. Well, there's smaller ones like I-82 and I-86 but there's not much to say about them (they're all pretty equal in boredom across most of the length, and neither have significant traffic). EDIT: Went more into I-82 here: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=24234.msg2389405#msg2389405 Also I have driven a lot of I-15, but not between Las Vegas and Hesperia, and I feel like that section might take the cake for both boredom and traffic haha.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 12:35:51 PM by doorknob60 »
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wriddle082

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I've been traveling on I-75 for pretty much my whole life and I think I finally figured out the worst point on all of I-75 yesterday. I was cruising along in Ohio and got through most of Cincinnati just fine until I hit the bridge over the Ohio River and I-71 coming in. I sat in traffic for about 15-20 minutes and made it fine going southbound to Lexington after that. I just thought to myself that I hit this point in I-75 all the time and always seem to hit traffic along this stretch every time I come through it. I think I have I-75 covered unless someone has another spot just as bad like in Atlanta and I know in my home state Detroit doesn't have too many awful spots along I-75, maybe in Oakland County around the Big Beaver-14 Mile area but nothing as bad as Cincinnati even with that 25 mph curve downtown where I-75 switches from the Chrysler to the Fisher Cincinnati is worse. My whole point is if you know of the worst spot along any Interstate what is it?

I've never really had issues on the Kentucky side of the river unless there's a wreck or road work. My problems with Cincinnati are the Norwood Lateral-Paddock Road area, and also Sharonville just south of I-275.

In bad weather, you don't want to be on I-75 near the Rockcastle River crossing and on the hills on either side of it. There's been some massive traffic tie-ups during snowstorms.

I'm not a fan of I-75 in general, but to me, two trouble spots are 1.) the Pine Mountain crossing south of Jellico just as you enter Tennessee. The route is only two lanes in each direction with no chance of being widened in any of our lifetimes, which means micropassing trucks and total closures when there are wrecks. Plus, there have been enough slides and slips along that stretch that you never know when the road's going to be down to one lane for repairs. And 2.), the ramp to I-640 west where through I-75 traffic is narrowed to one lane in a metro area.

Beyond Knoxville, the Connector through Downtown Atlanta is getting to the point to where congestion is a given during any weekday daytime hours.  The I-24 interchange in Chattanooga is also bad due to the sharp curves along the 75 mainline (though this interchange is slated to be "rebuilt" soon), and also from around Gainesville or Ocala, FL to the Florida's Turnpike split can also be very congested during heavy holiday travel periods.

Of the routes that I've clinched that are in my area, here are my opinions:

I-64: The St. Louis double-decker, downtown Louisville, most of the WV Turnpike, the I-81 concurrency, and the HRBT.

I-66: everything inside US 15.

I-68: Cumberland

I-71: downtown Cincinnati and downtown Columbus.

I-77: the WV turnpike between Cabin Creek and Mossy/Pax.

I agree with you on all of these except I-77, which I completely disagree with you on.  Pretty much all of it in the Charlotte area, from the I-485 junction just N of the SC state line all the way to Mooresville is absolutely terrible.  And the toll lane construction that's currently ongoing is no only annoying right now, but it will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to fix the problem.  It will take years, if ever, for Charlotte-area residents to embrace toll lanes as a true congestion reliever.

Here are some more that I'm familiar with:

* I-40:  I don't know much about Albuquerque or Oklahoma City, but I would rank all of it along the Downtown Nashville loop (MM 208) up to the eastern I-24 split (MM 213) as the worst.  I'm fairly certain that the stretches through North Little Rock, Memphis, Knoxville (since the rebuild), the Smokey Mtns, the Triad, and the Triangle don't even compare traffic-wise.

* I-24:  I think going through Chattanooga is slightly worse than going through Nashville, at this point.

* I-65:  Just north of Downtown Nashville is pretty bad, but I'm thinking it might just be worse in the Birmingham area.

* I-26:  The Malfunction Junction area in Columbia is definitely the worst, but honorable mention to the Charleston stretch east of 526 and the Asheville duplex with 240.

* I-20:  Not sure about Shreveport, but I'd venture to guess than just east of the I-59 split east of Downtown Birmingham is even worse than anything stretch of it in Atlanta.

* I-85:  Sure, the Atlanta Connector is bad, but right now I'd say that all of it from I-385 in Greenville to the NC state line is worse!  Nearly all of this is under construction (including the 1990's Spartanburg bypass), the sight lines are very poor due to its late-50's construction, and there's even a portion of it that floods frequently just north of I-385.

* I-4:  From Disney to Altamonte Springs, most of which is under construction.  I can deal with the rest of it.  Tampa is only a problem during rush hours.
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I-290 Auburn-Marlboro, MA:

It is just exit, after exit, after exit along this highway. Exit 15 (Shrewsbury St) isn't even signed (with the exception of a small ground mounted sign at exit 14, about 1/4 mile away. The odd exit skips (NB: 7-9-11-13, SB: 12-10-8-7) makes it fairly weird to get around (and also say Auburn has 5 exits (includes Exit 6 on I-395)).
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70 - Breezewood

4 - the whole thing

Chicago makes 90 and 94 a nightmare
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70 - Breezewood

4 - the whole thing

Chicago makes 90 and 94 a nightmare

With I-4 downtown Orlando in particular.  I'll be curious to see how it has "improved" during the I-4 Ultimate rebuild.

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I-275 at I-4 going SB.  No matter what time of day you approach it there is always a jam up into the ramp.

I-4 will never keep up with sprawl.  From now till the time the ultimate is done, who knows how many more cars and trucks will use I-4 as each day more and more development brings newbees into the area.  However, the worst spot on I-4 W Bound is from World Drive to US 27 near Dismal, and going EB its usually in two spots.  One is from US 27 to SR 429 and the second spot is where Epcot Center Drive merges into I-4 as that creates a slowdown starting at Osceola Parkway to SR 535 due to always traffic leaving WDW even when the parks are not ready to close as Disney itself is a traffic generator due to its many hotels.  Can't say about the rest where the worst is cause I never use those parts that much.

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