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The United States has an extensive network of highways and interstates connecting cities, states, and regions, facilitating the movement of goods and people. Some of these roads stand out for their stress-inducing traffic congestion. But these major arteries are the heart of the nation’s transportation system. Let’s dive into the 10 busiest highways in America, according to 2023 data from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). 

Some states have more than 1 of the busiest highways in the U.S.

1. Fort Lee: I-95 at SR 4

Busiest highways: I-95 in Fort Lee, New Jersey
An exit sign on I-95 in Fort Lee, New Jersey | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This interchange connects Interstate 95 with State Route 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. It’s a crucial gateway for traffic entering and exiting New York City, making it one of the nation’s busiest and most congested highway junctions.

2. Chicago: I-294 at I-290/I-88

The complex network of highways in Chicago, Illinois, is infamous for its traffic congestion. The interchange between I-294, I-290, and I-88 is a significant bottleneck, with heavy truck and commuter traffic.

3. Houston: I-45 at I-69/US 59

Busiest highways: I-45 in Houston, Texas
I-45 in Houston, Texas | Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images

Houston, Texas, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., faces significant traffic challenges. The interchange of I-45 and I-69/US 59 in Houston experiences high traffic volumes, especially from commercial trucks.

4. Atlanta: I-285 at I-85 (North)

Georgia’s capital is known for its bustling highways, and the interchange between I-285 and I-85 (North) in Atlanta is a prime example. It is a critical connection point for interstate travel in the region.

5. Atlanta: I-20 at I-285 (West)

Another Atlanta interchange, the connection between I-20 and I-285 (West), experiences heavy traffic due to its strategic location within the city’s transportation network.

6. Chicago: I-290 at I-90/I-94

Chicago’s importance as a transportation hub is evident in its multiple entries on this list. The interchange between I-290 and I-90/I-94 is a point of congestion.

7. Los Angeles: SR 60 at SR 57

Busiest highways: State Road 60 at the East Los Angeles Interchange
Cars on I-5, I-10, US 101, and SR 60 at the East Los Angeles Interchange | Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

With its sprawling urban landscape, Los Angeles is no stranger to traffic congestion. The interchange at State Road 60 and State Road 57 is one of the busiest highway junctions.

8. Los Angeles: I-710 at I-105

Southern California’s extensive freeway system is vital to the region’s economy. The interchange of I-710 and I-105 routinely sees a significant bottleneck.

9. Nashville: I-24/I-40 at I-440 (East)

A growing city in the Southeast, Nashville, Tennessee, experiences increased traffic at the interchange of I-24/I-40 and I-440 (East).

10. San Bernardino: I-10 at I-15

Located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California, the interchange of I-10 and I-15 experiences heavy traffic due to the movement of goods and commuters.

Intriguing facts about the busiest highways and more

  • The U.S. interstate highway system, established in 1956, has played an essential role in the nation’s economic development by providing efficient transportation routes.
  • Though these highway stretches are among the busiest, there are also less congested and scenic routes offering a different perspective of the country.
  • The title of the “least busy highway” in the U.S. might vary depending on the time of day and year as traffic patterns change.
  • Some notorious and challenging roads, often considered “scary” or “deadly,” include sections of the former Route 666 in Colorado and Arizona and California’s Pacific Coast Highway, known for its winding stretches on cliffs overlooking the ocean.

Does your state have 1 or more of the busiest highways in the U.S.?


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Atlanta, Chicago, and LA have six of the top 10 busiest highways in America, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. The roads on ATRI’s list are essential to the U.S. economy, but they also have significant traffic challenges. Understanding the factors contributing to congestion and exploring potential solutions are important steps in ensuring the efficiency and safety of these crucial roadways. As we navigate the complex web of highways and byways that crisscross the country, we gain a deeper appreciation for the role of transportation in our daily lives.