The Texas Transportation Commission approved an 85 miles-per-hour speed limit for a toll road between Austin and San Antonio.
On most highways in Texas, the maximum speed is 70 miles per hour.
State law was revamped to allow the Texas Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit to 75, 80 or even 85 miles per hour on any highway deemed suitable after an engineering study. Since the new law took effect in September 2011, the state’s transportation commission has approved higher speed limits on more than two dozen stretches of highway in Texas. Two locations were approved for 80 miles-per-hour limits in March 2012.
The 85 mph speed limit was approved by the Texas Transportation August 30, 2012. The new toll road where the higher speed was approved is scheduled to open in November.
The Associated Press reports the state collects a larger share of toll revenues by allowing a higher speed limit on the road. “The state contract with the toll operator allows the state to collect a $67 million up-front cash payment or a percentage of the toll profits in the future if the speed limit is 80 mph or lower. At 85 mph, the cash payment balloons to $100 million or a higher percentage of toll revenues,” according to an Associated Press report.
Most highways in the U.S. have top speed limits of 75 mph. There are no longer any roads in the U.S. with no speed limit.