Travel between northern and southern lower Michigan is going to go a little faster on some stretches. Next week, three rural freeways will have new speed limits of 75 miles an hour.
Stretches of I-75, US-127, and US-131 will be the first roads to have the new speed limits. Jeff Cranson is with the Michigan Department of Transportation. He says the biggest consideration in where to raise the speed limit is how fast people were already traveling on those roads.
“The other factors are crash history, curves, what the engineers call the geometrics of the roadway. Certainly, the number of interchanges, conflict points. All those in factor in, so it’s a whole bunch of factors.”
Cranson says more stretches of rural freeway will see higher speed limits in coming months.
“It’s really about how fast you can get people out there to slap new signs on. The new signs have to be made, and then basically screwed on over the existing signs, so that we can do this is efficiently as possible from an economic standpoint.”
Cranson says about 600 miles of roads will see speed limit increases by this time next year.
“The first three freeways that are going to go from 70 to 75 are, I think you would find pretty predictable – very rural, and, often straightaways that seem like it would be safer to raise the speed limits.”
Cranson says M-DOT will also post more safety warning signs, shorten passing zones in some areas, and change some lane markings.
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