The Texas Transportation Commission last week approved an 85 mph speed limit for new toll road SH 130, the highest in the nation. Project planners hope the 41-mile toll road, set to open to traffic in November, will alleviate increasing congestion along I-35 from Austin to San Antonio.
Most U.S. highways have a maximum speed limit of 75 mph, with a few in West Texas and Utah topping out at 80 mph. SH 130 was one of multiple stretches of highway pushed to 85 by the Texas Legislature in 2011.
Toll prices have not yet been determined for SH 130. Under the current contract with the toll operator, if speed limits are 80 mph or lower, the state can collect a $67 million upfront cash payment or a percentage of future toll profits. The 85 mph speed limit allows a $100 million upfront payment or a higher percentage of future toll profits.