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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Shocker: I-4 near Tampa's downtown one of 50 worst bottlenecks

Looking east from the Interstate 275 junction with Interstate 4 during a particularly bad rush hour in 2006.

Tampa Bay Times/Daniel Wallace

Looking east from the Interstate 275 junction with Interstate 4 during a particularly bad rush hour in 2006.

24

November

As anyone who's driven Interstate 4 near downtown Tampa knows, it's pretty bad.

How bad?

According to a study by the American Highway Users Alliance of America's urban freeways, it's one of the nation's worst bottlenecks, which are portions of highways that are routinely and consistently congested. 

The study estimates that a 0.4-mile stretch of I-4 between North 22nd Street and North Nebraska Avenue is responsible for 300,000 hours each year in delays, costing $7 million in lost economic opportunity, and wasting 191,100 gallons of fuel.

Wowzers.

But hey, the study says that 44 other bottlenecks are even worse, so that's not too bad, right? And Miami has three of them. Plus, it's not as bad as 2004, when the the same study rated the I-4/I-275 interchange as the 16th worst bottleneck, responsible for 14 million hours in annual delays. 

I-4 doesn't come close to the misery found on the worst bottleneck in the nation: a 12-mile stretch on Interstate 90 in Chicago, which is responsible for 16.9 million hours in annual delays at a cost of $418 million and a waste of 6.4 million gallons of fuel, according to the study.

The top 30 worst bottlenecks caused 91 million hours of delays worth $2.4 billion on drivers and freight and a waste of 35 million gallons of fuel.

Over two decades, the study states, that's a total cost of $39 billion in lost time.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 3:06pm]

    

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