The Washington State Department of Transportation,
Washington State Patrol and Washington Traffic Safety Commission announced
today that, due to safety concerns, they will not increase the speed limit on
Interstate 90 in eastern Washington.
The original proposal was to increase the speed limit from 70 to 75 mph along roughly 100 miles of I-90
starting near George to the Lincoln/Spokane county line. Analysis found the
increased risks and costs associated with the proposed change outweighed
the projected time savings.
In particular, analysis of
the roadway, crash history, current speeds and other states’ experiences
predicted an additional 1.27 fatal or serious crashes annually if the speed limit
was raised. A higher speed limit also would bring an estimated $8.3 million in
additional annual safety costs, the analysis found.
The review also found that raising the speed limit to 75 mph would save just an estimated five
minutes on a 100-mile trip, with an estimated annual value of $3.6 million in
time saved.

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