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New Law: See Which Highways Will Have a 70 MPH Speed Limit on Jan. 1

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois Tollway last week announced the locations where Interstate speed limits will increase from 65 to 70 miles-per-hour when a new law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014. 

Senate Bill 2356 was signed into law in August, increasing the maximum speed limit on Illinois Interstates from 65 to 70 mph, where deemed reasonable and safe. Drivers must to continue to watch for signs and obey the posted speed limits.

  • See map of area highways that will have 70 mph speed limits above. See full map of state highways here

“IDOT crews will begin to remove the old 65 mph signs and install the new 70 mph signs in the designated areas early January to comply with the new law, but it’s very important that motorists obey the posted speed limits,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. 

Once the new law goes into effect, approximately 87 percent of Interstate highways and 98 percent of rural Interstates under IDOT’s jurisdiction will be increased to 70 mph. Approximately 28 percent of the Tollway’s 286-mile system will be increased to 70 mph.

IDOT and the Illinois Tollway will continue to review any roadway speed limit as needed, including monitoring changing traffic behaviors and the completion of construction projects.

IDOT fabricated approximately 900 new 70 mph signs intermittently over an approximate one month period. The signs were made with recycled materials at IDOT’s Central Sign Shop in Springfield. 

The signs have been distributed throughout the state and will be installed between Jan. 2 and Jan. 17, 2014, weather permitting. The total fabrication and installation cost for the 70 mph speed limit signs is estimated at $200,000.

For the Illinois Tollway, new 70 mph signs will be installed between Jan. 7 and Jan. 14, 2014, weather permitting, on a 64-mile segment of the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) and on a 15-mile portion of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) at a cost of about $18,000.

The new law includes an additional safety provision, which lowers the limit by five mph at which drivers may be charged by law enforcement with excessive speeding. Currently, the threshold for penalties is 31 mph over the limit. The new law lowers that threshold to 26 mph over the limit, in an effort to increase safety on Illinois roads. 

Source: Illinois Department of Transportation press release 

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