I-95, Beltway Among Most Congested Roads

Yes, the Beltway's on it

Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010  |  Updated 6:00 PM EDT
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America’s Most Congested Roads

NBCWashington.com

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As the Thanksgiving travel rush gets into gear, The Weather Channel has ranked the nation’s top 10 most congested roads and passes along a reminder to check the forecast before you hit the road. They’d like you to check that out on TWC, natch.

The D.C. area leads the list, with the I-95 Corridor between D.C. and New York taking the top spot and the Beltway ranking No. 7.

Here’s more from TWC and weather.com:
 
America’s Top 10 Most Congested Roads according to The Weather Channel
TWC looked at major metropolitan areas that serve as junctions for millions of people traveling Thanksgiving week and are prone to challenging weather during November.
 
1. The I-95 Corridor – Interstate 95 from New York City to Washington, D.C.
Bad weather is not uncommon along this corridor during Thanksgiving week. In 2006, a strong Nor'easter moved through two days before Thanksgiving that brought damaging winds, coastal flooding and snarled holiday travel from the Carolinas to southern New England. Some experts estimate that this 225-mile trek is the slowest stretch of highway nationwide during the holiday season.
2. BostonWestbound Massachusetts Turnpike from downtown Boston to Interstate 84 in Sturbridge
This stretch of road is only 56 miles long and should, theoretically, be driven in about an hour. However, because this is the main route connecting Boston to the rest of the Eastern seaboard, it has been known to come to a virtual standstill.
 
3. Chicago – Borman Expressway I-80/I-94, the Tri-State Tollway
This is the Trifecta of traffic tie-ups because it is the intersection of three heavily traveled roads. What makes it even worse for holiday travelers are the big rigs that travel through these tollways.  In September 2008, all lanes of the tollway were closed when the Little Calumet River flooded. Torrential rains from Hurricane Ike reportedly caused a levee breach and puts parts of the roadway under five feet of water.
 
4. New York City – Throgs Neck Bridge and Whitestone Bridge
These two bridges are key choke points when traveling from the New York City area to Connecticut or Long Island. The Throgs Neck Bridge, the “newest bridge,” was built back in 1961 to help relieve traffic on the adjacent Whitestone Bridge, and it has long been overrun with traffic jams.
5. San Francisco – Eastbound Interstate 80 to Sacramento and Tahoe
In San Francisco, thousands use Thanksgiving as an excuse to flee the city and get the first taste of winter weather. The down side is that they all take Interstate 80 to get to the ski resorts around Lake Tahoe.  This trek only worsens with a dash of winter weather, such as the major winter storm that hit this past weekend.
 
6. AtlantaInterstate 285 in both directions between I-75 and I-85
Home to six major interstates, Atlanta is a major checkpoint for driving destinations across the Southeast. Interstate 285 is the busiest of Atlanta's interstates with an astounding two million daily drivers – mix in holiday travelers and shoppers and frustration will be cooking in Atlanta.
 
7. Washington, D.C. – Interstate 495 from Merrifield, Va., to Landover, Md.
The Beltway, as I-495 is called, encircles the nation's capital city, and as we all know, rush hour is 24 hours a day. Only spanning 30 miles, this stretch can easily take hours to traverse and is at its worst at Thanksgiving.
 
8.  Dallas – Interstate 35
3.5 million people make this particular stretch of road a travel headache. According to officials at the Texas DOT, half of Dallas metro residents live along a 50-mile stretch of I-35 who hit the roads en masse during the holidays.

9. Detroit – Northbound US-23 and Northbound I-75 Merge
This stretch of road near Flint, Mich., attracts people fleeing to the beautiful northern Michigan forests for turkey and fun. Cabin owners, resort seekers and deer hunters flock north from Detroit, Indiana, Ohio, and even Chicago.
 
10. MiamiThe Palmetto Expressway near Miami International Airport
The Palmetto Expressway is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the Miami area, which particularly gets backed up from Okeechobee Road to south of the Dolphin Expressway. Adding travelers flying into and driving from Miami can create a travel nightmare.  Luckily, they will enjoy warm spring-like temperatures along the drive.

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