Fueled by the state’s steady growth and healthy economy in 2018, Houston’s West Loop this year is set to repeat its rank as the most gridlocked corridor in the state. Interstate 35 in central Austin comes in a close second, with the Southwest and Eastex Freeways in Houston and the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas rounding out the top five.
Supporting the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), researchers from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) use traffic volume and speed data to compile the annual listing of the most crowded roadways in Texas, comparing the time it takes to travel on a congested roadway against the time needed to travel the same corridor in uncongested conditions.
“One of the first things you do when a problem is identified is to measure the extent of the problem,” explains TTI Senior Research Scientist David Schrank. “The 100 Most Congested Roadways in Texas 2019 Summary Report does this for almost 10,000 miles of roadway in Texas.”
Thirteen new road segments appear on the list this year, with 92 segments being concentrated in Texas’ four biggest metro areas. However, roadway delay is becoming more common in urban areas of all sizes. This year’s complete list of congested road rankings includes 1,854 segments spread across 66 counties.
The analysis continues to highlight the movement of freight throughout the state, as well as to and from other parts of the country. Road segments with high levels of truck traffic and congestion are found in Austin and Houston and on the U.S.-Mexico border near Laredo.
TxDOT — in an initiative known as Texas Clear Lanes — has increased efforts to address roadway gridlock, largely through two voter-approved funding initiatives directing more resources to the State Highway Fund for non-tolled projects.
“TxDOT’s mission is Connecting You with Texas, and we are focused on getting people where they need to go efficiently and reliably by paying attention to where improvements are needed most,” says Marc Williams, TxDOT’s deputy executive director. “Congestion relief is a priority for our top chokepoints as we balance the many demands on our roadways across the state.”