Motorists on Minnesota highways who are wanting to go faster than the current speed limit of 55 mph are about to get what they want, although maybe not by much. The Minnesota Department of Transportation will increase speeds to 60 mph on more than 5,000 miles of state highways.
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, MnDOT announced the completion of a five-year study on speed limits. After five years of study, the department has decided it will increase speeds from 55 mph to 60 mph on 5,240 miles of rural, two-lane state highways.
According to a news release, new speed limits will go into effect as soon as new speed limit signs are posted. Most signs are already in place. The remaining signs are expected to be posted by spring.
In 2014, state lawmakers mandated that MnDOT conduct a study on all Minnesota two-lane roadways with a posted speed of 55 mph. The $1.2 million study is also the largest system-wide change in Minnesota speed limits since the national maximum speed limit of 55 mph was included in President Nixon’s Emergency Highway Conservation Act bill in 1974.
Previously, MnDOT increased speeds to 60 miles per hour on 1,550 mile of two-lane highways. When all of the speed limit signs are installed, 81 percent of the two-lane, two-way state highways will have a posted speed limit of 60 miles per hour
MnDOT plans to study the effect of the changes over the next several years to ensure these roadways continue to operate safely.
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