Texas Releases List of State's Most Congested Roads

A 3.7-mile stretch of Interstate 35W in Fort Worth topped a list of the 100 most congested roadways in Texas.

This is the fourth year the Texas Department of Transportation has released the list, but it’s the first time a strip of highway just north of downtown Fort Worth claimed the top spot. Last year, a portion of Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas claimed the dubious honor. The year before it was a segment of I-45 in Houston.

Amanda Wilson, with the transportation division of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, said ongoing construction on and near I-35 is the likely reason for the road’s rise to No. 1 on the list from  No. 8 two years ago. She noted that the Federal Highway Administration recently granted the highway environmental clearance to move forward with an expansion as part of a larger transportation project called the North Tarrant Express.

“Of course there will be construction for the next few years, but hopefully we can get that moved off from No. 1 soon,” Wilson said.

The Legislature ordered TxDOT to start compiling the annual list in 2009. For metropolitan planning agencies, entities set up around the state to guide major transportation projects, the rankings can help determine how it should spend its limited transportation dollars.      

“Putting this list together allows them to get a real good look at the roadways that are in trouble and most congested,” said Mark Cross, a TxDOT spokesman.

To compile the list, researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute used 2011 speed data from Washington-based INRIX to determine traffic conditions at different times of the day on every road in the state. The economic cost in lost time and wasted fuel on the list's highways adds up to nearly $3 billion a year.

The list isn’t just a guide to the worst commutes in the state. As road projects move up and down in the rankings, it reflects major shifts in driving patterns.

Often, a rise in congestion is a result of nearby construction projects slowing down traffic, said Tim Lomax, a researcher with the Transportation Institute. Other times, a road becomes more congested because of an expansion of a nearby road that feeds into it, causing both roads to draw more vehicles.

“What you see is this changing market area for trips that’s responding to available capacity and lack of capacity,”  Lomax said.

One of the biggest movers on the list is El Paso's Interstate 10 from US 54 to Loop 375. Two years ago, it was ranked No. 100. This year, it’s at No. 37.

Raymond Telles, the head of the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority in El Paso, noted several factors that have probably led to the road’s heavier use, including the relocation of thousands of U.S. soldiers to nearby Fort Bliss and heavy growth in east El Paso.

“We’ve got a lot of development out in east El Paso so you have a lot more folks coming from the east into downtown,” Telles said.

It’s not all bad news for Texas drivers. While congestion is certainly increasing statewide as Texas' population increases, some of the worst roads are becoming less clogged.

Since 2010, a strip of FM 3487 from FM 471 to IH 410 in San Antonio dropped from No. 46 on TxDOT’s list to No. 96. That the road recently expanded from four lanes to six lanes is probably not a coincidence.

A stretch of U.S. Highway 290 from FM 1960 to FM 529 in Houston dropped 13 places on the list from No. 25 to No. 38 in the last two years. Lomax attributed that shift to the end of renovations on the nearby Katy Freeway. The construction on that road had earlier prompted thousands of drivers to temporarily use U.S. 290.

“Because 290 was so terrible, it jumped up on the list,” Lomax said. “Now that Katy is finished, I don’t think anyone says 290 is great but it’s not as terrible as it was.”

Below is a sortable table, created by data reporter Ryan Murphy, that lists the 100 most congested roads in Texas. Click on the header to sort by that column.

RankRoadwayCountyFromToAnnual Hours of Delay per MileAnnual Cost of Delay
1 IH 35W Tarrant IH 30 SH 183 586664 $45.75 million
2 IH 635 Dallas IH 35E US 75 584499 $109.71 million
3 IH 45 Harris IH 610 SL 8 581974 $116.49 million
4 IH 35 Travis SH 71 US 183 559380 $110.25 million
5 SS 366 Woodall Rodgers Fwy Dallas N Industrial Blvd. US 75 536710 $27.6 million
6 US 75 Dallas IH 635 SS 366 Woodall Rodgers Fwy 524990 $104.45 million
7 US 59 Harris IH 10 SH 288 504254 $38.13 million
8 US 59 Harris SH 288 IH 610 484884 $56.32 million
9 IH 35E Dallas IH 30 SH 183 468851 $54.99 million
10 IH 45 Harris IH 10 IH 610 420478 $31.95 million
11 IH 35W Tarrant SH 183 US 81 416456 $55.23 million
12 SH 121 Tarrant IH 820 SH 183 395715 $45 million
13 IH 45 Harris IH 10 IH 610 391288 $68.08 million
14 IH 820 Tarrant US 377 IH 35W 384643 $23.55 million
15 IH 820 Tarrant US 377 SH 183 362506 $41.46 million
16 IH 610 Harris UA 90 IH 10 353692 $81.84 million
17 IH 30 Dallas Jefferson Viaduct SL 12 East 344605 $58.68 million
18 IH 610 Harris IH 10 IH 45 333199 $46.81 million
19 IH 35E Dallas SL 12 IH 635 318631 $21.47 million
20 US 290 Harris FM 529 IH 610 317647 $78.73 million
21 US 75 Dallas SH 190 IH 635 309464 $43.47 million
22 IH 345 Dallas US 75 IH 30 296671 $8.81 million
23 US 59 Harris IH 610 SL 8 293568 $49.68 million
24 IH 35E Dallas US 67 Jefferson Viaduct 289153 $28.01 million
25 SH 288 Harris US 59 IH 610 283532 $28.08 million
26 IH 10 Harris SL 8 IH 610 West 272625 $46.5 million
27 IH 10 Harris IH 610 IH 45 267257 $37.52 million
28 IH 35E Dallas IH 635 BS 121 H 253629 $57.35 million
29 SH 26 Dallas Ira E Woods SH 114 242705 $18.42 million
30 IH 45 Harris SL 8 IH 610 234645 $40.86 million
31 IH 35 Bexar SL 1604 FM 3009 223168 $22.46 million
32 US 281 Bexar SL 1604 Stone Oak Parkway 218760 $14.16 million
33 IH 35 Bexar IH 410 SL 1604 213138 $39.12 million
34 FM 1093 Harris SH 6 IH 610 205061 $53.85 million
35 IH 35 Bexar IH 10 US 281 193247 $18.1 million
36 IH 635 Dallas US 75 SH 78 184402 $32.63 million
37 IH 10 El Paso US 54 SL 375 183539 $48.48 million
38 US 290 Harris FM 1960 FM 529 181120 $15.88 million
39 SH 360 Tarrant SH 183 IH 20 171556 $42.6 million
40 IH 45 Harris FM 2920 SL 8 166041 $43.26 million
41 SL 1 Travis US 183 US 290 165901 $42.85 million
42 SH 6 Harris Hempstead Highway IH 10 157268 $31.36 million
43 IH 45 Harris FM 528 / NASA 1 SL 8 157164 $33.18 million
44 IH 10 Harris SH 99 SL 8 156629 $43.45 million
45 IH 10 Harris IH 45 US 59 151945 $6.66 million
46 SL 12 West Dallas IH 35E IH 30 151217 $28.63 million
47 SH 183 Dallas SL 12 IH 35E 150837 $13.22 million
48 FM 1960 Harris BF 1960A 1st ST E 142679 $13.12 million
49 US 281 Hidalgo US 83 FM 3072 141987 $18.86 million
50 IH 35 Travis US 183 Howard Ln 141904 $20.8 million
51 UA 90 Harris IH 610 SH 288 140019 $13.17 million
52 US 59 Harris IH 610 North IH 10 139221 $9.63 million
53 US 75 Collin US 380 SS 399 138536 $12.19 million
54 IH 820 Tarrant SH 183 IH 30 137723 $9.51 million
55 SH 183 Tarrant SH 360 SL 12 135422 $25.27 million
56 US 75 Collin SH 121 SH 190 135017 $36.84 million
57 IH 35E Dallas SH 183 SL 12 134460 $10.52 million
58 IH 10 Bexar IH 410 SL 1604 132922 $20.34 million
59 IH 35 Travis SL 275 FM 3406 131626 $24.97 million
60 IH 410 Bexar IH 10 US 281 130091 $13.76 million
61 SH 121 Dallas BS 121 H SH 114 130002 $14.14 million
62 SH 183 Tarrant SH 121 SH 360 128742 $9.99 million
63 FM 659 El Paso Montwood Dr FM 76 124173 $12.95 million
64 SH 288 Harris IH 610 SL 8 123136 $15.37 million
65 FM 2499 Denton FM 407 FM 2181 119830 $9.41 million
66 Eldridge Harris FM 1093 Memorial Dr 116444 $8.61 million
67 SL 12 Dallas SS 348 US 75 115962 $19.77 million
68 SL 343 Travis US 290 IH 35 114722 $12.17 million
69 IH 35 Bexar US 281 IH 410 113937 $13.81 million
70 IH 35E Denton BS 121 H SL 288 113160 $34.92 million
71 FM 1281 El Paso FM 76 Darrington 112535 $12.13 million
72 SH 114 Tarrant US 377 Precinct Line Road 112185 $7.31 million
73 FM 1960 Harris IH 45 Mills 109272 $20.35 million
74 IH 635 Dallas SH 78 IH 20 108481 $29.79 million
75 FM 529 Harris SH 6 US 290 108090 $11.04 million
76 Nolana Hidalgo FM 2220 FM 2061 107293 $6.98 million
77 SL 345 Bexar IH 410 IH 10 107156 $10.11 million
78 IH 610 Harris FM 521 UA 90 107048 $4.75 million
79 IH 35W Tarrant IH 20 IH 30 107025 $14.44 million
80 IH 610 Harris IH 45 FM 521 105612 $15.68 million
81 US 183 Travis SL 1 IH 35 104679 $9.44 million
82 US 69 Smith Grande Blvd Kilrush Drive 104269 $8.94 million
83 US 59 Fort Bend SL 8 SH 6 103565 $20.98 million
84 Lemmon Ave. Dallas Inwood Road N Haskell Road 103520 $6.61 million
85 Forest Ln. Dallas Dallas North Tollway SH 78 103063 $21.2 million
86 IH 30 Tarrant IH 820 SH 360 102754 $22.41 million
87 Matlock Tarrant FM 157 W Sublett Road 100421 $9.52 million
88 SH 6 Fort Bend IH 10 US 59 99550 $32.35 million
89 SL 12 Dallas US 75 SS 244 99355 $7.52 million
90 IH 20 Tarrant IH 35W US 287 98596 $12.43 million
91 Coit Collin W Spring Creek Pkwy Forest Lane 98353 $21.23 million
92 SH 289 Dallas SH 121 IH 635 97030 $27.76 million
93 FM 157 Tarrant SH 180 IH 20 96297 $9.61 million
94 IH 30 Dallas SL 12 FM 740 95240 $28.91 million
95 Slaughter Ln. Travis Brodie Ln SL 275 94699 $8.04 million
96 FM 3487 Bexar FM 471 IH 410 94636 $6.59 million
97 US 83 Webb San Eduardo Avenue Mangana-Hein Road 93507 $12.27 million
98 SL 12 Dallas IH 30 SH 408 92417 $3.33 million
99 SH 16 Bexar 0.14 mile north SL 1604 IH 410 92105 $13.82 million
100 IH 35E Denton IH 35W SL 288 91345 $7.28 million

 

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