TxDOT approves speed hike on US 59, 77
By BY MELISSA CROWE and ALLISON MILES - MCROWE@VICAD.COM and AMILES@VICAD.COM
June 6, 2012 at 1:06 a.m.
Crossroads drivers can start living life in the fast lane.
Texas Department of Transportation is increasing speed limits on U.S. Highways 59 and 77 from 70 mph to 75 mph effective as soon as the signs are posted Thursday, said the agency's Public Information Officer Roman Hill.
After engineering and traffic studies, the state agency decided the two corridors were safe to see a speed increase. Several interstate highway speed limits have already been bumped up, she said.
"The study was to see how fast all the traffic has been going," Hill said. "The consensus was that traffic was already traveling 75."
The increase affects U.S. 59 from Victoria County through Jackson County and up to Wharton County. The U.S. 77 increase starts south of Victoria through Refugio County, she said.
Victoria oil field worker Daniel Barton said he was glad to know about the speed limit increase.
Barton travels the highway often for work, he explained, and even a slight increase means travel will be that much quicker. With no intersections and few side roads along that tract of highway, he added, travel should remain safe, even at 75 mph.
"There's more traffic out there anyway," Barton said, noting the oil industry means more trucks on the road. "I think it's good."
That 5-mph jump isn't something Victoria resident Maria Gonzalez said she needs herself, but it might help some people avoid speeding tickets down the road.
"For me, 70 is good," she said, noting she and her family travel U.S. 59 from time to time. "But, even when I drive the speed limit, I have cars pass me. Maybe if it is higher, people will drive the limit."