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Four Central Texas highways the first to see speed limit increases

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AUSTIN—The Texas Transportation Commission approved higher speeds Thursday on four Central Texas highways making them the first in the state to be posted at the 75-mile an hour limit since recent legislation (HB 1353) took effect on September 1.

After conducting engineering studies, the Texas Department of Transportation recommended speed limits be raised on sections of I35, SH 130, SH 45 and US 281 inBell, Travis, Burnet and Williamson counties. Earlier in the meeting, the Commission amended existing rules clearing the way for TxDOT to raise speed limits on the fourCentral Texassections.

"This is a great start, but we have a long way to go,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT Traffic Operations Division director. “TxDOT is reviewing existing 70-mile per hour speed limits statewide to determine where a higher limit may be safely posted. We anticipate having all of the speed studies completed by early 2013, so be looking for new 75 mph signs in the near future.”

The 82nd Texas Legislature passed and the Governor signed House Bill 1353 which allows TxDOT to establish 75-mile per hour speed limits on any state highway found to be reasonable and safe through a speed study.

Texasalready has 1,445 miles of 75-mph speeds and 521 miles of 80-mph speeds on certain state highways, but these areas were previously restricted to specific rural counties and highways located mostly inWest Texas. The new law allows the department to implement the higher speeds on any 70-mph highway across the state.

75 mph speed limits approved today are located on:

  • I-35—22 miles from Georgetown to Salado;
  • SH 130—45 miles from I-35 in Williamson County to US 183 in Travis County;
  • SH 45—9 miles from US 183 to I-35 in Travis County; and
  • US 281—12 miles from the Lampasas-Burnet County line to 8 miles north of the Burnet city limits

New speed limit signs will be placed in the next few weeks. But, it’s important to remember that speed limit increases are not effective until the new signs are actually installed.

Speed limits inTexasare set by the 85th percentile method which represents the speed the majority of drivers are traveling at or below. This recognized engineering principle has been used to set speed limits nationwide for the past 60 years. 

The Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its approximately 12,000 employees strive to empower local leaders to solve local transportation problems, and to use new financial tools, including tolling and public-private partnerships, to reduce congestion and pave the way for future economic growth while enhancing safety, improving air quality and preserving the value of the state's transportation assets. Find out more at www.txdot.gov. Fan us on Facebook www.facebook.com/txdot. Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/txdot.


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