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Indiana Home to Bottleneck Traffic & Road Congestion

Steve Wagner

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has been collecting and processing truck GPS information since 2002. They use the data from 600,000 trucks in support of the Federal Highway Administration’s Freight Performance Measures initiative to quantify the impact of traffic congestion on truck-borne freight at 250 specific locations across the U.S., Indiana included. Bottlenecked traffic has a major impact on the trucking industry. One statistic says the cost is equivalent to 264,500 truck drivers sitting still for an entire year.

The GPS data results show that Indiana has three of the top 100 congested roadways where truck bottlenecks occur. They can all be found in Indianapolis at these interstate locations:

  • #34 I-65 at I-70 (North)
  • #38 I-65 at I-70 (South)
  • #100 I-465 at I-69

Most recently, a wreck between three semis closed both lanes on northbound I-65 for two hours. While semi drivers Jim Collins and Troy Lweandowski were not injured in the crash, Thomas Jones of Paoli was pinned inside his rig. Reports say he had to be extricated before taken to IU Health Arnett Hospital for leg injuries. Thomas did not see the slow, bottlenecked traffic and hit one truck, knocking it into the next.


Bottlenecks in these areas typically happen when there is a limited physical capacity for the amount of vehicles on the roadway. Truck bottlenecks can quickly turn into car and other motor vehicle bottlenecks, slowing everyone on the roadway into turtle-like speed. Analysts do see an association between truck and other vehicle backups resulting in accidents. Accident reports on I-65, I-465 and I-69 have shown the congested areas having stop-and-go traffic, increasing a risk for front- and rear-end collisions for all types of vehicles.

In addition, with the rise of distracted drivers, poor driving habits and bottleneck traffic we see a major chain reaction of accidents and injuries on these Indiana roadways.


ATRI says that the worst bottleneck in the country is in Atlanta, where northbound I-85 meets I-285 in what’s known to most drivers as “spaghetti junction.” The report continues to name, “Fort Lee, Chicago (I-290 and I-90), Louisville (I-65 and I-64), Cincinnati (I-71 and I-75), Los Angeles (State 60 and State 57), Auburn, Wash. (State 18 and State 167), Houston (I-45 and U.S. 59), Atlanta (I-75 and I-285) and Seattle (I-5 and I-90),” as top bottleneck locations as well. The State of Illinois has been working on the reconstruction of the Chicago Circle Interchange since 2012 when ATRI identified it as the nation’s No. 1 bottleneck. The project is expected to be complete by 2019 and cost more than $500 million.


If you or a loved one sustained injuries as the result of a bottleneck and someone’s negligence behind the wheel, Wagner Reese can help. Don’t fight that battle alone, let Wagner Reese deal with the insurance company, while you focus on recovering. Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today at (888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation!


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