Researching a column this week on the next highway bill, I called two trucking companies and a major port to ask them what, in their experience, are the worst road bottlenecks they confront. I asked the truckers about highway interchanges and the port about intermodal connectors. All three said there were NONE that they could think of, other than getting in and out of cities at rush hour. Part of this unenthusiastic response I suspect is tied to the economy, but it struck me as interesting in light of freight stakeholders’ peddling the idea of a $48 billion sub-account for freight within the next highway bill, largely for interchanges and connectors.
However, there is one interchange I know is a problem for truckers, for the simple reason that when I’m stuck in it I’m surrounded by 18-wheelers. It the single-lane southbound lead-in to I-95 at New Haven, Ct. from I-91, the north-south artery through western New England, passing through Hartford, Ct. and Springfield, Mass. One lane! Please somebody deal with this. Anyone in their right mind would avoid it, as cars can do by using the Merritt Parkway (which I do now that I’ve smartened up), but trucks don’t have that luxury unless they change their route entirely, which I’m sure many do. Here is some further ranting about this notorious interchange.