Pennsylvania plans for speed boost on turnpike

| Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Speed increases on the Pennsylvania turnpike may soon help truckers deliver their loads a little faster.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has approved a uniform 65 mph speed limit between mile markers 91 and 130, minus a few mountainous stretches near the Allegheny Tunnel.

The commission is in the process of ordering and installing new speed limit signs, many of which will feature electronic displays that can be changed remotely from 65 mph to 55 mph, based on traffic and weather conditions. Officials said they hope to officially unveil the project by the busy Memorial Day weekend.

The turnpike has had a 55 mph limit since a national speed limit was enacted during the energy crisis of the 1970s. Although control was shifted back to the states in 1995, parts of the turnpike near Pittsburgh, PA, and Philadelphia were kept at the lower 55 mph limit because of federal “urbanized area” restrictions, according to a news release from the turnpike commission.

“Our intention had always been to get as much of the turnpike returned to 65 mph where it’s safe to do so,” turnpike commission CEO Joe Brimmeier said in the release. “We added lanes, straightened curves and made travel safer for everyone.”

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