Speed limits on sections of I-295 and the Maine Turnpike are being increased after extensive studies and a bill in 2013 by Rep. Justin Chenette to transfer jurisdiction of speed limit changes from political leaders to traffic engineers at Maine Department of Transportation. The bill passed unanimously in the House and Senate and became law without the Governor's signature.
(AP) - Speed limits are going up on several sections of Maine's interstates, but none will be faster than the existing 75 mph stretch of I-95 north of Old Town.
Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt announced his decision Tuesday, making incremental adjustments of several sections that will go from 55 mph to 60 mph and 65 mph to 70 mph. The Maine Turnpike Authority also is poised to raise speed limits from 65 mph to 70 mph for much of the toll highway this summer.
The Maine Department of Transportation has done several extensive studies, working in concert with Maine State Police.
The Legislature approved a bill in 2013 that allows the transportation chief to raise the speed limit to 75 mph. The speed limit for most of the interstate is currently 65.
More news resources on LD 654 & speed limit changes:
Press Herald: Rep. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, who sponsored the legislation, said it was designed to put the issue in the hands of traffic engineers, not politicians.
Bangor Daily News: It would allow engineers familiar with the roads, rather than elected officials in Augusta or Washington, to determine maximum safe traveling speed on interstate highways throughout Maine.