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What is the Highest Posted Speed Limit in America?

Photo via Wiki Commons

Texas gets another bragging right besides being the largest state in America; The highest speed limit in the country.

TxDOT approved an 85 mph speed limit on a new 40 mile stretch of toll road southeast of Austin to Seguin. There are no other streets in the U.S. with posted speed limit higher than 80 mph.  According to some report, 85 mph is the fastest legal speed allowed in the Western Hemisphere.

Approving such a high speed limit involves a long process, and it took TxDOT at least one year since the inception of the the discussion to the final approval.

The new stretch of Texas 130 (known officially as Segments 5 and 6) is being built by a private consortium led by Spanish-based toll road firm Cintra. The firm has spent $1.3 billion to design and build the road and collect the tolls on the road for 50 years, though TxDOT retains ownership of the road. Under TxDOT’s contract with the SH 130 Concession Company, the firm had to pay TxDOT an extra $67 million if the new road received an 80 mph speed limit. If the road received the coveted 85 mph speed limit, TxDOT’s bonus jumped to $100 million.

It will take some time to conclude whether 85 mph speed limit can be sustained unless a huge pile of accidents occur frequently.

“As the accidents pile up on 85 mph roads, so too will insurance claims,” David Snyder with the American Insurance Association wrote in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial last year. “That will lead to increased insurance costs.”

“The Texas Department of Transportation has determined that SH 130 Segments 5 and 6 may be safely traveled at 85 miles per hour,” Chris Lippincott, spokesman for the SH 130 Concession Company, said. “We are committed to operating a safe, reliable highway for our customers. On any road, drivers hold the key to safety based on traffic, travel conditions and the capabilities of their own vehicles.”

What is the Highest Posted Speed Limit in America? Reviewed by Blogs on 5:09 PM Rating: 5

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