Office of Operations
photos of traffic merging onto congested highway, congestion in snowstorm, variable message sign, cargo, variable speed limit sign in a work zone, and a freeway at night
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Traffic Bottlenecks

Combating Bottlenecks!

A Sampling of Successful Efforts Nationwide

There are very few "cookie cutter" solutions to everyday traffic problems. Differences in volumes, right of way, design, funding, and many other variables help decide what measures are best for which locations. The summaries below are merely a sampling of one or two examples in these states as to how they have attacked a bottleneck problem.

  • New Hampshire - Advancing part of larger project to clear up a mess sooner than later.
  • Delaware - Proactive contract procurement to advance needed roadwork.
  • North Carolina - Prioritizing congestion-related projects to marshal resources sooner.
  • Arizona - "Widening the gate" at Grand Canyon National Park, and improving a poor weaving area elsewhere.
  • Michigan - Reconfiguring interchange ramps (including building roundabouts at the top of the ramps) instead of rebuilding the whole interchange.
  • Utah - Installation of a Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI) in lieu of a traditional fix.
  • Connecticut - Restripe to change from a 3+1 lane configuration to a 2+2 configuration (with the center lane becoming an option either way.)
  • Tennessee - Adding lanes through a tight weaving area to give drivers more room to make better decisions.
  • Rhode Island - Employing roundabouts where feasible to carry continuous volumes (instead of forced, periodic signal stops).
  • New Jersey - Corridor improvements, including access management techniques, to improve Route 17.
  • Arkansas - Employing Continuous Flow Intersections following a study of their efficacy and a search for candidate locations.
  • District of Columbia - Identification of a retaining wall that was causing a capacity restriction.
  • Washington - Listening to a citizen's suggestion and acting upon it.
  • Indiana - Multi-headed solutions at one interchange will save from having to tear it down and rebuild it completely.
  • Georgia - Ramp metering program provides one response to the Governor's "Fast Forward" initiative to alleviate congestion.
  • Mississippi - Using the shoulders to add capacity to I-10 following the loss of the US 90 bridge over Biloxi Bay as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Virginia - First congestion relief shoulder lane on I-495 (VA beltway) inner loop will have colored asphalt to identify this lane.