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Report: I-5 Bridge is nation’s 29th worst bottleneck

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Published: February 12, 2019, 9:00pm

The Interstate 5 Bridge ranks as the nation’s 29th worst bottleneck on a top 100 list and the worst in Washington, according to American Transportation Research Institute findings issued Tuesday.

The 2019 Top Truck Bottleneck List assesses the level of truck-oriented congestion at 300 locations on the national highway system. The analysis, based on truck GPS data from nearly 1 million heavy-duty trucks, uses customized software and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion-impact ranking for each location, the institute said in a news release.

The institute’s findings show that traveling on the I-5 Bridge between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. traffic flows at 50 mph to 55 mph. Traveling outside that window, as any veteran I-5 Bridge driver knows, and you’re taking your chances. The slowest average speeds, the institute says, are at about 8 a.m. with an average speed between 30 mph and 35 mph and at 6 to 7 p.m. with an average speed of 35 mph. The overall average speed on the span is 41.2 mph.

Five other Washington bottlenecks made the top 100: No. 37 Seattle: I-5 at I-90; No. 46 Federal Way: SR 18 at I-5; No. 59 Auburn: SR 18 at SR 167; No. 67 Tacoma: I-5 at I-705/SR 16; and No. 68 Seattle: I-90 at I-405.

Nationally, these are the top 5: No. 1 Fort Lee, N.J.: I-95 at SR 4; No. 2 Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North); No. 3 Atlanta: I-75 at I-285 (North); No. 4 Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57; and No. 5 Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59.

For the full report, see https://truckingresearch.org/.

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