EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Drivers traveling on some rural sections of two major interstate freeways will soon be able to put the pedal a little closer to the metal.
The Utah Department of Transportation Tuesday told the Utah Transportation Commission that the agency would raise the speed limits on certain areas of rural Utah interstates.
UDOT traffic and safety director Robert Miles told the commission that an analysis of speed, crash and fatal crash data was conducted during the spring and summer and showed raising the speed limits in certain areas would be "safe and appropriate." He said the increased speed limits would also create consistency with other similar areas on those same interstate highways.
UDOT will implement the higher limits on stretches of I-70 from the I-15 junction to the junction at state Route 24 — from milepost 7.94 to milepost 139.35, said spokesman John Gleason.
"There is a responsibility that we have to make sure that we have the appropriate speed limits set throughout the state," he said. "This is one of those areas that we were evaluating closely."
The changes would be located through Pine Creek and Baker canyons on I-15 where areas previously limited to 65 miles per hour and 75 miles per hour would become 80 miles per hour, though trucks would still be limited to 65 miles per hour. Miles said the addition of a climbing lane in that area allowed for an increased speed limit for passenger cars.
UDOT will continue to evaluate speed limits on interstate roadways in the months to come, making changes were proper analysis deems appropriate, Gleason said. As for the most recent changes, updated signs will be placed in the designated locations over the next few weeks, he said.