Worst Roads in America

Dreaded, dreadful, deadly. Which states and roads do truck drivers, traffic reporters, and other experts complain about?

1. I-55 in Louisiana
“The second you cross the Mississippi state line into Louisiana heading south, it’s like driving on a washboard. You can close your eyes and know. I had a cup full of soda one day, and the road literally rattled it right out of the drink holder and all over the floor of my truck. God help you if you think you’re going to play a CD going down there.” – Trucker Kevin Johnson, Rushville, Illinois

2. I-12 east of Baton Rouge
“It’s one of our deadliest stretches of highways because it goes from six lanes down to four lanes. They’re widening it now, but just another two exits because they don’t have the dollars to finish. So that will just carry the problem farther down the road.” – Jennifer Marusak, communications director for Driving Louisiana Forward, a campaign committed to improving Louisiana’s highway infrastructure

Louisiana roads in general
“The local paper published a picture of a guy who, to make a point, set a mattress down inside a pothole and was taking a nap.” – Ray Romero, New Orleans traffic reporter

3. I-15 in California (from Barstow to the Nevada state line)
“It’s hilly, and the road has a lot of high and low spots. But the real problem is that it’s always so heavy with traffic, and you’ve got gamblers heading to Vegas who are thinking, The buffet in Vegas closes at ten o’clock. I gotta get there. If you hit it on a Friday night? Forget about it. You’re out in the middle of the desert and you get to the top of one of the hills, and as far as you can see it’s just a string of brake lights.” – Trucker Matt Boose, Eudora, Kansas

4. I-79/I-70 interchange in Pennsylvania
“If you’re going north on 79 and you need to go west on 70, the ramp is U-shaped. You’ve got to slow down to 25 to get around this crazy U. There is a wall around it that is just beat to pieces where people have banged into it.” – Trucker Clarence Jenkins, Charleston, West Virginia

5. The Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-78 and I-80 in Pennsylvania
“Vehicles have gotten wider and bigger since these roads were built, and they’re still very narrow. They’ve also got a lot of hills and curves, and people are always crossing over into the other lane when they go around a curve. Plus, their on-ramps are very short, and there’s not enough time for people to get up to highway speed. So you end up with lots of people running into the back of slow-moving vehicles as they’re getting off a ramp … It seems like they’ve been under construction forever. We like to say they have two seasons in Pennsylvania: winter and construction.” – Trucker Frank Silio, Miami

6. I-95 over the George Washington Bridge, New Jersey/New York
Truck drivers hate this two-level bridge so much that they will drive 30 or 40 miles out of their way to avoid it. In addition to some of the worst gridlock in the country, it’s got potholes galore. Then there are the drivers. “You can sit there with your signal on all day, and nobody will let you over. So you’ve got to ‘take the lane.’ Basically you start easing over until finally someone realizes he’s going to get run over unless he lets you in.” – Trucker Kevin Johnson

7. The Will Rogers Turnpike (Interstate 44), Oklahoma
“I’ve never driven from Tulsa to the Missouri state line when all four lanes were open the whole way. There is always—always—a mile or two where a lane is closed and you have to merge. I keep wondering, When do we get to pay and use the thing?” – Jeff Brucculeri, traffic reporter, Tulsa

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