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The Best and Worst Roads in America?


Are These The Best and Worst Roads in America?[dropcap]D[/dropcap]rivers, you see more of the country than nearly anyone else.  You could probably teach geography teachers a thing or two, and you certainly know where to find the best and worst roads in America.  

So, naturally, the author of Reader’s Digest reached out to truck drivers for some tips on where to find the worst roads in America for an article entitled, “The 7 Worst Roads in America.”

By Michelle Crouch from Reader’s Digest

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

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

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 itnow, 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

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

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

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

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

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

Alternately, Reader’s Digest rated the following roads as “The 5 Best Roads in America.”

I-35 through Kansas (and Kansas roads in general) 
“It’s well maintained and open and offers an extremely smooth ride. They have rest areas that are easy in, easy out. It has wide-open spaces, and you don’t feel the pressure of constant interaction with traffic. Actually, in Kansas, all the highways are very good. Even the two-lane roads are great: smooth, with shoulders.” –Walmart driver Gary Leu, Shelbina, Missouri

Montana interstates
“They don’t call it Big Sky Country for nothing. You can see for miles. You’ve got trees and mountains and different terrain. You see lakes and a lot of wildlife, like elk and antelope. Plus, they keep their roads pretty decent considering the harsh weather they have out there.” – Trucker Clarence Jenkins, Charleston, West Virginia

I-75 in northern Florida 
“It’s not especially scenic, but the road conditions are fantastic. It’s three lanes wide for most of it, with a large median between north- and southbound traffic. It’s well paved and straight. The rest areas are clean and spacious, and state troopers man them, so you feel secure.” – Trucker Frank Silio, Miami 

I-80 in Utah 
“You come down into Salt Lake City, and you’re surrounded by mountains, you see the lights of Salt Lake City in front of you, and off to the west, you see the Great Salt Lake. The only issue is that it’s easy to get distracted by how beautiful it is.” – Trucker Kevin Johnson, Rushville, Illinois

I-95 between Elkton, Maryland, and Baltimore
“Before Elkton, I’m in Delaware dealing with congestion [I-495 and I-295]. So I always breathe a sigh of relief when I get to this area. It’s a really good stretch of road, well designed. Enough time to merge from the on- and off-ramps. And great signage. You know well in advance when your exit is coming up. Also, all the exits are off to the right, and the rest areas are off to the left.” –Trucker Phil Gould, Edgewater 

Drivers, what do you think?  Are these the best and worst roads in America?



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