America's Top 10 Most Congested Roads

Traffic delays on Thanksgiving can ruin anybody's holiday.

November 23, 2010, 10:35 AM

Nov. 24, 3010—, 2010 -- Thanksgiving is all about turkey, cranberries, football and, unfortunately, traffic jams.

As Americans hit the road this holiday weekend they are likely to encounter thousands of other cars also heading to visit friends and relatives. Roughly 42.2 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from their home this holiday, according to AAA. That's 11.4 percent more than last year.

So if you're driving, there's probably no way avoid traffic unless you drive in the dead of night. But take comfort in knowing that somebody else is probably stuck in worse traffic.

In that vein, we bring you the Weather Channel's list of America's top 10 most congested roads. The Weather Channel, and several other online sites, will be providing travel tips and updates of weather and road conditions to help with the trip.

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So is your trip one of the worst 10 out there? Take a look:

#1: The I-95 Corridor -- Interstate 95 from New York City to Washington, D.C.

Bad weather is not uncommon along this corridor during Thanksgiving week. In 2006, a strong Nor'easter moved through two days before Thanksgiving, bringing damaging winds and coastal flooding and snarling holiday travel from the Carolinas to southern New England. Some experts estimate that this 225-mile trek is the slowest stretch of highway nationwide during the holiday season.

#2: Boston -- Westbound Massachusetts Turnpike from downtown Boston to Interstate 84 in Sturbridge

This stretch of road is only 56 miles long and should, theoretically, be driven in about an hour. However, because this is the main route connecting Boston to the rest of the Eastern seaboard, it has been known to come to a virtual standstill.

Holiday Traffic Delays

#3: Chicago -- Borman Expressway I-80/I-94, the Tri-State Tollway

This is the trifecta of traffic tie-ups because it is the intersection of three heavily traveled roads. What makes it even worse for holiday travelers are the big rigs that travel through these tollways. In September 2008, all lanes of the tollway were closed when the Little Calumet River flooded. Torrential rains from Hurricane Ike reportedly caused a levee breach and left parts of the roadway under five feet of water.

#4: New York City -- Throgs Neck Bridge and Whitestone Bridge

These two bridges are key choke points when traveling from the New York City area to Connecticut or Long Island. The Throgs Neck Bridge, the "newest bridge," was built back in 1961 to help relieve traffic on the adjacent Whitestone Bridge, and it has long been overrun with traffic jams.

#5: San Francisco -- Eastbound Interstate 80 to Sacramento and Tahoe

In San Francisco, thousands use Thanksgiving as an excuse to flee the city and get the first taste of winter weather. The down side is that many take I-80 to get to the ski resorts around Lake Tahoe. This trek only worsens with a dash of winter weather, such as the major winter storm that hit this past weekend.

#6: Atlanta -- Interstate 285 in both directions between I-75 and I-85

Home to six major interstates, Atlanta is a major checkpoint for driving destinations across the Southeast. Interstate 285 is the busiest of Atlanta's interstates with an astounding 2 million daily drivers. Add extra holiday travelers and shoppers to the mix, and frustration will be cooking in Atlanta.

#7: Washington, D.C. -- Interstate 495 from Merrifield, Va., to Landover, Md.

The Beltway, as I-495 is called, encircles the nation's capital city, and locals joke that its rush hour is 24 hours a day. Only spanning 30 miles, this stretch can easily take hours to traverse and is at its worst at Thanksgiving.

#8: Dallas -- Interstate 35

More than 3.5 million people make this particular stretch of road a travel headache. According to officials at the Texas DOT, half of Dallas metro residents live along a 50-mile stretch of I-35 and hit the roads en masse during the holidays.

#9: Detroit -- Northbound US-23 and Northbound I-75 Merge

This stretch of road near Flint, Mich., attracts people fleeing to the beautiful northern Michigan forests for turkey and fun. Cabin owners, resort seekers and deer hunters flock north from Detroit, Indiana, Ohio and even Chicago.

#10: Miami -- The Palmetto Expressway near Miami International Airport

The Palmetto Expressway is one of the most heavily traveled roads in the Miami area, which gets particularly backed up from Okeechobee Road to south of the Dolphin Expressway. Adding travelers flying into and driving from Miami can create a travel nightmare. Luckily, they will enjoy warm spring-like temperatures along the drive.

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