Meetings scheduled in Ritzville, Moses Lake later this month
OLYMPIA –A request to increase speed limits on a roughly 100-mile stretch of Interstate 90 in eastern Washington is being considered and the Washington State Department of Transportation is asking for comments from interested citizens.
The proposed speed limit increase would be from the current 70 miles per hour to 75. The affected area is from the town of George, east to the western border of the Spokane County line.
A bill passed in the 2015 Legislature allows the Secretary of Transportation to increase the speed limit on any highway to a maximum 75 mph. Lawmakers in eastern Washington have asked Acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar to consider such an increase on I-90. If an increase was approved, the limit would remain 60 mph for vehicles over 10,000 pounds or vehicles pulling trailers.
Since August, WSDOT has worked with the state Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Patrol to evaluate the I-90 request. The evaluation process included:
- gathering information from other states that have raised speed limits
- developing criteria to evaluate where and how speed limits might be raised
- assessing the effects of an increase and identifying any needed highway feature modifications
- examining how decisions about speed limit increases can take into account vehicle crash history, societal costs due to crashes, fuel costs and benefits associated with travel time savings.
Two meetings are scheduled later this month to provide information about the speed limit increase request and to take public comments. Comments can also be provided online.
4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 19
Best Western Plus Bronco Inn, 105 W. Galbreath Way.
11:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 20 – as part of a presentation to the Washington Transportation Commission
Moses Lake Civic Center, Council Chambers, 401 S. Balsam Street
Based on the results of the analysis, public comments and consultation with traffic safety partners, WSDOT will make a decision whether to raise the speed limit for this section of I-90. The decision is expected in May. If the limit is increased, it would become effective once new speed limit signs are posted.