Texas road with 85 mph speed limit opens

Oct. 24, 2012 at 5:49 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The 41-mile final stretch of Texas Highway 130 opened Wednesday and drivers will see road signs indicating a speed limit of 85 mph.

The toll road from Mustang Ridge, south of Austin, to Seguin will boast the highest speed limit in the nation. Dozens gathered Wednesday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured Texas Gov. Rick Perry in Lockhart, KVUE-TV, Austin, reported.

"It's been a long time coming, but I'm telling you the wait was worth it," said Seguin Mayor Betty Matthies at the ceremony, extolling the potential for economic development for her city.

The tolls will be waived until Nov. 11, after which drivers will pay approximately 15 cents per mile for its use, the Austin American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

What remains to be seen is the effect of the high speed limit.

"We have decades of study and data, and conclusive evidence that people do respond to speed limits no matter how high they're set," said Richard Retting, a widely published traffic safety expert. "There is no free lunch when it comes to speed limits. The price we pay is higher speed limits and a higher fatality rate."

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