Improving Infrastructure Can Cut Fuel Costs, Aid Environment, American Transportation Research Institute Study Finds

The nation can conserve fuel and reduce emissions by improving the nation’s highway infrastructure, according to a report by the American Transportation Research Institute.

The study, released March 5, quantifies how infrastructure improvements to the nation’s highways cause congestion. Nationally, congestion is estimated to have increased the trucking industry’s fuel consumption by 6.87 billion gallons in 2016, adding $15.74 billion to its fuel bill.

ATRI estimated the fuel consumption and emissions impact of congestion at one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the country: the interchange of Interstate 285 and I-85 in Atlanta, a hot spot known locally as Spaghetti Junction. The research combined ATRI’s unique truck GPS database to determine vehicle speeds by time of day, emissions factors derived from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s state-of-the-science emissions model and daily trip counts collected by the Georgia Department of Transportation.