Few Surprises in 100 Most Congested Roads


The 2018 list of 100 most congested roadway segments in Texas is out and it is not surprising to motorists in southwest Houston that the top spot on the list is again Loop 610 West going by the Galleria between Interstate 10 and Interstate 69. 


Moving up from No. 3 to No. 2 is a five-mile section of the I-69 Southwest Freeway from Loop 610 east to the SH 288 South Freeway.  These two segments connect at the Loop 610/I-69 interchange which is now undergoing a $287 million reconstruction. 


No. 3 is I-35 in central Austin followed by the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas and part of the Eastex Freeway in Houston.


Of the 20 most congested segments in the state, 12 are in the Houston area, four are in Dallas and two are in Fort Worth. Of the top 100 bottlenecks, 15 are on Interstate 35 in Denton, Dallas. Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio.


Although specific ranks on the list change marginally from year to year, most of the road segments are perennial. All but 15 of the Top 100 this year also made the 2017 list. All but six of this year’s top 50 made that cut last year. Though the worst stretches are concentrated in Texas’ biggest urban areas, the full assessment by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute includes 1,829 segments across the state.


TTI researchers use traffic volume and speed data to get a measure of traffic delay and then quantify how much more time it takes to travel a mile on a congested road than it does to travel that same distance in uncongested conditions.


TxDOT has increased efforts to mitigate gridlock in recent years, boosted by voter-approved Prop 1 and Prop 7 to direct more funding to the State Highway Fund.


TTI’s annual listing offers no surprises – just a reaffirmation of a familiar theme. Worsening gridlock statewide is driven largely by population expansion that outpaces growth in roadway capacity. The inescapable result is amplified by a thriving economy riding high on the energy industry.


The analysis also puts a focus on freight-related congestion.

I-35 in Austin holds the top spot in truck delay, followed by the I-69 portion of the Bob Bullock Loop near Laredo’s World Trade Bridge, Houston’s Eastex Freeway near downtown and Loop 610 West, and the I-35W North Freeway in Fort Worth.


October 25,, 2018