The Pennsylvania Turnpike on Wednesday placed a 70 mph speed limit on a 100-mile stretch of toll road in the south-central part of the state, up from 65 mph.
The 70 mph zone is on the Turnpike mainline, Interstate 76, between the Blue Mountain Interchange, exit 201, and the Morgantown Interchange, exit 298.
"Our studies have shown that the design of our system in this area can safely accommodate the higher speed limit,” said Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “But motorists must remember that it is their responsibly to drive safely and sensibly according to the traffic and weather conditions, especially when the pavement is slick from precipitation or when visibility is limited."
Turnpike officials pointed out that some parts along this stretch will not have the higher limit, especially around curves.
In the meantime the effects of the higher speed limit will be watched by turnpike officials closely for the next several months with the remaining parts of the route possibly later seeing the speed limit increase from 65 mph to 70 mph, according to published reports.
The hike comes as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to pilot a 70-mph speed limit on two interstates around mid-August. It will be along 88 miles of I-80 from exit 101 to mile marker 189 and 21 miles of I-380 from Interstate 84 in Lackawanna County to Exit 3, Pocono Pines/Mt. Pocono. The current speed limit in the two areas is 65 mph.