Transportation

Many of Texas’ most congested roadways are in Harris County, new report says

The report found five of the top 10 most congested roadways in the state are located in the Houston area.

Texas Department of Transportation
Overhead look at the I-69/610 West Loop interchange.

A Houston traffic hotspot is once again ranked as the most congested roadway in Texas, according to a new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

The report found five of the top 10 most congested roadways in the state are located in the Houston area, with a section of the West Loop Freeway between I-10 and I-69 taking the number one spot for the second year in a row — that same section took the second place spot in 2020.

Sections of I-69 took the fourth and fifth spots, while a section of North Loop West Freeway from I-45 to I-10 was ranked eighth. A section of I-45 from I-10 to South Loop East Freeway took the number 10 spot.

“These are major freeways that have traffic on them all day long, everyday, and not just commute traffic in the mornings and evenings,” said David Schrank, the senior research scientist at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.

According to the report, the pandemic has had “significant effects” on traffic congestion across the state and that future congestion could be impacted by more people working from home.

“It changed when or if trips were made, where they were made, how they were made, and had large impacts on trucking and goods movement,” the report read.

Schrank said the goal was to pinpoint areas of concern for the Texas Department of Transportation in order to get the ball moving on potential solutions.

“The idea is to make sure that TxDOT is taking a look at those locations and seeing if there’s something that needs to be done or if they already have a project in place that will help to address the congestion,” Schrank said.

This comes as a controversial I-45 expansion project, dubbed the North Houston Highway Improvement Project, continues to be halted by the federal government as critics argue that the proposed TxDOT project would displace more than 1,000 homes and businesses in low-income communities of color — claims that are currently being investigated by the Federal Highway Administration.

The northern section of I-45 — between 610 North and I-10 — was ranked the 22nd most congested roadway out of a total of 1,860 across the state.

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