The Most Congested Roads in Vermont

Vermont is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, natural wonders, and quaint small towns. However, it is also home to some of the nation’s most crowded roads, particularly during peak periods like fall foliage and winter skiing. Here are details about roads in Vermont that drivers may want to avoid or plan for in advance.

Route 100

Route 100 is a highly popular scenic drive in Vermont, winding along the Green Mountains’ spine and passing through charming villages and attractions. Despite its scenic appeal, this road, stretching 216 miles, is frequently congested due to being mostly two lanes wide. Heavy traffic is common on weekends and holidays when tourists flock to the area for fall colors, ski resorts, and local treats like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Cold Hollow cider. Drivers should anticipate delays and slow-moving traffic on Route 100, considering alternative routes or off-peak travel times.

Interstate 89

Interstate 89 serves as the primary highway linking Vermont’s largest city, Burlington, with the state capital, Montpelier, and other central and northern destinations. It’s a key route for travelers from neighboring states accessing Vermont’s ski areas and attractions. Interstate 89 experiences heavy congestion during rush hours, weekends, and holidays, particularly near exits for Burlington, Waterbury, and Montpelier. Factors like accidents, construction, and weather can lead to backups and closures, so checking road conditions and traffic alerts before embarking on a journey is advisable.

Bennington County Covered Bridges

Bennington County in southwestern Vermont boasts the highest concentration of covered bridges in the state, with 20 historic structures spanning various creeks and rivers. While these bridges are a treat for photographers and history enthusiasts, they pose challenges for drivers due to their narrow, one-lane design, low clearance, and weight limits. Notable congested covered bridges include the Silk Road Bridge, the Paper Mill Village Bridge, and the West Arlington Bridge, all situated on busy roads and attracting numerous visitors. Drivers should be prepared for potential waits when crossing these bridges and heed traffic flow regulations indicated by signs and signals.

Mount Mansfield Toll Road

The Mount Mansfield Toll Road is a 4.5-mile gravel road ascending to the summit of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, at an elevation of 3,850 feet. Open from late May to mid-October, the road offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. However, its steep, narrow, and winding nature can challenge drivers unaccustomed to such terrain. During peak seasons, the road can be congested, as it accommodates only 250 vehicles daily, operating on a one-way traffic system alternating every half hour. Drivers should plan ahead, secure reservations for the toll road, and adhere to staff instructions and regulations.

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