ARTBA Equates Delay on Highway Bill with Costly Delay on Highways

Studies show clogged roads cost commuters an average 34 hours of lost time per person and more than $700 each.

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WASHINGTON, DC (September 27, 2011) -- Two authoritative reports in the last week detailing traffic congestion's continued drag on the U.S. economy and mobility have put the spotlight back on the congressional failure to act on a long-term transportation infrastructure bill.

On September 21, the American Transportation Research Institute and Federal Highway Administration Office of Freight Management and Operations released a report identifying 250 major chokepoints and bottlenecks along highways that are critical to the nation's freight transportation system.  The majority of the locations monitored were urban interstate interchanges.

The top 10 freight bottleneck areas are:

  1. Chicago, Ill.: I-290 at I-90/I-94
  2. Fort Lee, N.J.: I-95 at SR 4
  3. Houston, Texas: I-45 at U.S. 59
  4. Houston: I-10 at I-45
  5. Houston: I-10 at U.S. 59
  6. Gary, Ind.: I-65 at I-80
  7. Austin, Texas: I-35
  8. Chicago: I-90 at I-94 (North)
  9. Atlanta, Ga.: I-285 at I-85 (North)
  10. Los Angeles, Calif.: SR 60 at SR 57

The full report is available at:

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) "Urban Mobility Report," co-sponsored by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Foundation and released September 27, finds traffic congestion in 2010 costing the U.S. economy $101 billion. It resulted in an average 34 hours of lost time per person and cost every commuter more than $700.

ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane issued the following statement about the studies:

"Everyone who drives already knows congestion robs parents of time with their children and unnecessarily drives up the cost of everything Americans buy. The real news in the Texas Transportation Institute report is the projection that traffic congestion costs will skyrocket another 25% in the next five years if we maintain the status quo.

"This Friday, September 30, marks two years since the last federal highway and transit investment law expired.  Members of Congress continue to delay action on a new multi-year bill as their constituents idle each day in mind-numbing traffic congestion. It's inexcusable. 

"Robust new investments aimed at creating additional transportation infrastructure capacity are the key to getting motorists, businesses and the economy moving forward again."

The ARTBA Foundation co-sponsored the "Urban Mobility Report," along with the American Public Transportation Association and the University Center for Mobility at Texas A&M University.  Established in 1985, the ARTBA Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity that supports "research, education and public awareness."