Texas is all excited about some upcoming changes tots 130 highway because it would be the first state to allow an 85 mph speed limit between Austin and San Antonio.
Currently, I-35 runs from Austin and San Antonio and is considered one of the most congested stretches of highway across the state by the Texas Department of Transportation. The new Texas State Highway 130 was built parallel to I-35 in hopes to relieve some of that traffic congestion, and in parts that the highway is already changed the speed limit to 80 mph.
The last section of the highway is expected to be completed and opened by the end of the year, and just before it opens the Department of Transportation will consider raising the limit to 85.
“We’ll definitely take a look at that stretch, and we will conduct speed studies to see what that speed limit will be,” Darren McDaniel, the Texas Department of Transportation’s speed management director, said at a conference Wednesday in San Antonio.
Utah is the only state to have an 80 mph speed limit on any highway, and creating an 85 mph in Texas would make the fastest in the country.
Before the U.S. implemented the country-wide speed limit of 55 mph in 1974, most wide open western states had higher speed limits with some roads with no limit at all, much like Germany’s autobahn system. Critics claim that with faster speed limits it will cause more fatal accidents. Nevertheless, McDaniel is arguing that with everyone traveling the same speed it creates a safer road.
“The more people we can get to travel a uniform speed, the safer are the conditions that will exist,” McDaniel said after referring to the fact a recent study indicated most people were already traveling at speeds of 85 mph anyway among slower drivers.