A 5-year-old legislative mandate soon will result in nine more two-lane highway segments with higher speed limits posted.
Increases from 55 mph to 60 mph will be imposed on southern Minnesota highways by the end of the year. Early this year, speed limits of 60 mph were posted on seven northwest Minnesota highways.
The changes follow a 2014 mandate by the Minnesota Legislature for the state Department of Transportation to study posted speed limits on all two-lane state highways. The agency also is charged with making recommendations for possible 5 mph speed limit increases.
MnDOT reports the state has about 7,000 miles of two-lane roads that will be studied from 2014 to 2019. The agency is responsible for studying about one-fifth of all affected roadways each year until the study is complete.
The sections of highway to have increased speed limits in the latest round of increases are:
- Highway 4 from Interstate 90 to Sleepy Eye.
- U.S. 14 from U.S. 71 to New Ulm.
- Highway 15 from the Iowa border to Winthrop.
- Highway 19 east of New Prague to Highway 13.
- Highway 22 from Iowa border to Mankato.
- U.S. 59 from Iowa border to Highway 60.
- Highway 62 from Fulda to Windom.
- Highway 109 from Wells to Alden.
Highway 22/111 from Nicollet to U.S. 212 will remain posted at 55 mph until 2020, when pavement will be added to the shoulders with a rumble strip.
The latest round of increases were approved following a traffic and engineering investigation of each highway. The review took into account crash history, physical attributes of the highway such as shoulder widths and access points, and what speed drivers now drive.
Changes in the vehicle speed are effective when new signs are posted.
A map showing which routes are already 60 mph and which are changing to 60 mph yet this year is available here.
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