Speed Limit Reduced on Portion of I-80
Cheyenne- Posted 10/27/06
Chris Jose

A new speed limit for westbound traffic on I-80 from the Happy Jack Interchange all the way down the summit, have caught several commuters off guard.

WyDOT says they changed it for safety reasons, and highway patrol plans to crack down on speeders.

"We're trying to get people's attention," says Dave Kingham of WyDOT.

The 65 mile per hour speed limit on the westbound four mile stretch between Happy Jack Road and Laramie is now in effect.

"You're coming down from the highest point in I-80 so they down graded and the curves are more than some drivers are us to handling at 75 mph on an interstate," says Kingham.

WyDOT is concerned with safety, but many commuters are concerned with adapting. Although they declined to be on camera, several commuters are scared of getting a ticket. Highway patrol says they plan on cracking down.

"Motorists need to pay attention to those signs and pay attention to the road," says Sgt. Steve Townsend with the highway patrol.

But for now they will give motorists some leeway.

"Maybe issue a few warnings make them aware the signs have changed," says Townsend.

Before the change went into effect Thursday night, WyDOT advised drivers to go 65 mph but like any optional rule, it turned out to be a lost cause down this tricky interstate.

"Most drivers in our experience haven't really compiled with that so we decided to make it mandatory," says Kingham.

WyDOT says Thursday's 15 crashes between Laramie and the Laramie County Border is a prime example why the speed limit was lowered. They say the physical landscape, the growing traffic of volume, and pavements losing traction, are the main factors of the reduced speed limit.