By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, Wy –
The Wyoming Department of Transportation hopes that decreasing the speed limit between Rawlins and Laramie will reduce winter crashes and road closures. Starting October 15th, WYDOT will drop the speed limit to 65 miles per hour on Interstate 80 between the Peterson Interchange near Rawlins and the Quealy Dome exit near Laramie. The department's Bruce Burroughs says the change will not affect travel time significantly.
"We're talking about six minutes if you go 65 compared to 75 on the part of road that's in question. And we feel that a few extra minutes is a good trade off to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities."
WYDOT studies show that stretch of I-80 has a higher crash and fatality rate than other Wyoming roads. Burroughs says WYDOT will also use new electronic signs this winter that will reduce the speed limit to as low as 35 miles per hour if driving conditions are poor. Burroughs says reducing the number of crashes on I-80 might keep the interstate from closing in bad weather.