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Speed limits to increase on rural freeways


It’s going to be a quicker trip for many people traveling between southern and northern Michigan. Beginning next week, speed limits parts of I-75, US-127, and US-131 will go from 70 miles an hour to 75.

The speed limit for trucks will also go up to 65 miles an hour.

“The first three freeways that are going to go from 70 to 75 are, I think you would find pretty predictable,” says Jeff Cranson of the Michigan Department of Transportation, “very rural, and, often straightaways that seem like it would be safer to raise the speed limits.”

He says eventually 600 miles of rural freeways will see higher speed limits in coming months. And more rural limited access highways will also go from 55 miles per hour to 65.

“It’s really about how fast you can get people out there to slap new signs on,” he says. “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 M-DOT will also post more safety warning signs, shorten passing zones in some areas, and change some lane markings. 

Credit Michigan Department of Transportation

Rick Pluta is the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He is heard daily on WCMU's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.