California interstates top DOT busy list

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | Tuesday, August 20, 2013

California is tops when it comes to busy interstates. The U.S. Department of Transportation says people traveled 84.7 billion miles on California interstates in 2011, nearly as many miles as the next two busiest states combined – Texas and Florida.

Interstate 5 in California was the busiest in the nation, with 21.4 billion miles traveled, followed by I-10 and I-110, also in the Golden State. Interstate 405 in Los Angeles was the busiest interstate in an American city, the DOT said.

Texas had the second most interstate miles by state with 55.7 billion, and Florida’s 34.7 billion miles ranked third. Ohio, Illinois and Georgia rounded out the top-five respectively.

Delaware had the lowest total outside of Washington, D.C., with 1.2 billion interstate miles traveled.

Nationally, interstate travel topped 2.95 trillion miles, giving 2011 the eighth-highest total on record, nearly double the 1980 figure, according to the DOT.

The Federal Highway Administration, which tallied the figures, also measures pavement roughness.

California roads were among the roughest but most were within the “acceptable” range on the pavement roughness index. Washington, D.C., had some of the roughest roads and was outside the range considered acceptable. Vermont and Tennessee had some of the smoothest roads in the country.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says the information helps states target congestion and direct highway projects.

“Over the past four years, DOT has improved more than 331,000 miles of roads with federal funds, but we know there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done,” Foxx stated in a press release. “Information like this, along with new construction and design technologies, help us stretch our dollars further, making a bigger difference for even more people.”

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