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ITD takes it slow on speed increase

Are you ready to go 80 mph on the interstate? The Idaho Transportation Department says not so fast.

A plan to increase the speed limit on portions of I-84, I-86 and I-15 was supposed to go into effect Tuesday. However, the department said Friday it wants to take more time to weigh concerns expressed since the announcement earlier this week.

“This will allow a thoughtful and inclusive review, ensuring safety,” said ITD Chief Operations Officer Jim Carpenter in a news release.

AAA Idaho released a statement supporting the move.

“Delaying the process to encourage an orderly, well-reasoned transition to the higher 80 mph speed limits is in the best interest of the state and its citizens,” it said in a statement. “In addition, this action may lessen the risks associated with raising the speed limits on hundreds of miles of interstate highways days before the busy July 4 holiday.”

ITD will present its review of speed, crash and engineering studies to the Idaho Transportation Board on July 11.

The 2014 Idaho Legislature increased the speed limit to 80 mph on the interstate for most vehicles and 70 mph for trucks at the ITD’s discretion. The department is still studying I-90 for a possible increase in speed.

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