FORT WORTH, TEXAS—The posted speed is 60 mph, but most drivers along Loop 820 in North Richland Hills rarely get past 20 before having to tap their breaks.
"It's horrible, I tell people all the time, Dallas was easier," said driver Rebecca Hicks. A new national study of the worst bottlenecks in North Texas ranks Loop 820 at Ruff Snow as the worst in the Metroplex.
"Where is the worst bottleneck, its often in the eye of the beholder," says Jim Bak with Inrix. He said Inrix uses several technologies to accurately measure trouble spots. One source is real-time traffic data from GPS and hand held devices like smart phones. For the second consecutive year Loop 820 topped the list, followed by LBJ in Dallas. Both roads are slated for major improvements over the next few years.
The North Tarrant Express will overhaul Loop 820, Airport Freeway and Interstate 35W, nearly doubling the capacity according to project spokesman Robert Hinkle. "The first phase, which includes rebuilding and expanding 820 from I-35W to North East Mall, is scheduled to begin this year and finish by 2015," said Hinkle.
The project will include additional free lanes and 2 managed or toll lanes in each direction. Nationally, Dallas-Fort Worth was fifth for traffic congestion, the same as in 2008.