PennDOT expands 70 mph zones

The York Dispatch

Signs began going up today along state highways in areas where the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced Monday posted speed limits would increase to 70 miles per hour. Similar increases began to be implemented two years ago.

The Turnpike speed limit  increase began this week.

The speed increases are part of Act 89, a funding measure passed in November 2013 allowing the change to traffic speeds once appropriate safety studies were concluded, according to Monday's press release announcing the shift.

The first speed limit increases took effect in 2014.

An additional 396 miles of turnpike and 400 miles of PennDOT-managed highways made the jump Tuesday from 65 to 70 miles per hour, none of which pass through York County, according to the release.

"Before moving ahead, we looked very closely at a number of factors," PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said in a written statement.

The data reviewed included physical characteristics of the highways where the increases in speed limits were proposed and the safety implications of the increased speed.

Impact: Areas that will see the increases include portions of the turnpike and stretches of highway that cross state lines with West Virginia, with Ohio and with New York. The highways and counties impacted are as follows:

  • I-79 from I-90 in Erie County south to a point just north of the PA 228 interchange in Butler County (97 miles)
  • I-79 from I-70 in Washington County south to the West Virginia border (33 miles)
  • I-80 from the Ohio State border east to a point near mile marker 190 in Clinton County (190 miles)
  • I-80 from a point near mile marker 195 in Union County to a point near mile marker 247 in Columbia County (52 miles)
  • US 15 from the interchange with PA 14 in Lycoming County north to the New York State border (49 miles)
  • I-99 from Exit No. 68 in Centre County south to a point near mile marker 34 in Blair County (34 miles)
  • I-99 from Exit No. 28 in Blair County south to mile marker 0 (PA Turnpike) in Bedford County (28 miles)
  • I-380 from I-84 in Lackawanna County south to Exit No. 3 in Monroe County (21 miles)

Safety: Officials encourage motorists to view the speed limit increases with caution. This is not a license to speed, the press release said.

"Motorists should not look at this as consent to speed," Pennsylvania Turnpike Chairman Sean Logan said in the release. "In fact, it is as vital as ever to drive sensibly, to avoid distractions and to buckle up."