SAN ANTONIO Ė On one brand new stretch of toll road southeast of Austin, Texas, you can cruise at 85 mph and not worry about being pulled over for speeding.
Thatís because starting Wednesday, on this 41-mile segment of road, 85 mph is the legal speed limit. Itís the highest in the country, and some are wondering whether it might be a little too high.
The new section of toll road provides an alternative to I-35, the congested artery thatís the spine of the Texas highway system. People who have driven between San Antonio and Austin can attest to the traffic -- it can be bumper to bumper. In addition to long haul truckers headed from the border to the interior of the U.S. and back, there are also soccer moms hopping on and off to get to Walmart and thousands of suburban commuters headed into the office.
So an alternate highway makes sense, but why 85 mph? Clearly drivers want to get where theyíre going faster, and at 85 mph, the new toll road potentially cuts the drive time from Austin to San Antonio in half.
The Texas Department of Transportation says although itís fast, the new speed limit is safe. The road was designed for it. Itís straight and through rural areas. But critics point out the Transportation Department had a financial incentive to set the speed higher.
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