The speed limit on U.S. Highway 75 and U.S. Highway 82 could soon change from 75 mph to 60 mph ahead of the ongoing improvements to both highways. The proposed change comes at the request of the Texas Department of Transportation, who has deemed it necessary to reduce the speed limit within the proposed construction area until the project is completed.
The Sherman City Council is expected to vote on Monday on lowering the posted speed limit for portions of the roadway.
“We will be lowering the speed limit to 60 mph for the duration of the project — so, for about three years,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch. “The city’s position is that we want it in people’s minds that this is the safe speed to travel.”
The section of the highway that would be affected by this change stretches from just south of FM 1417 to the Loy Lake Overpass for U.S. 75, and for U.S. 82, the section will cover a smaller area and stretch from a half mile west of the Travis Street bridge to about a half mile east of Loy Lake.
Over the course of the next three years, crews will be working to close what has been described as “the gap” on U.S. Hwy. 75 — a four-mile stretch that is the only section in Texas not at modern interstate standards. The improvements will include a widening of the roadway into a six-lane highway and a reworking of its service roads.Ramps will also lengthened and reworked to meet modern standards.
On U.S. 82, crews will work to reroute service roads, among other improvements, to allow exiting traffic more time to maneuver while approaching the intersection with Hwy. 75.
Strauch said the work on the roadway will be done in phases, and crews may reduce speed limits even further for affected areas. Some areas, including just north of State Highway 91, will not be affected by the improvement projects, but crews wanted to make a consistent speed limit throughout the corridor.
After the work is complete, TxDOT will conduct a traffic study to determine the new speed limit for the sections. Strauch said he expects the limit to return to the current levels, if not increase, with the increased capacity of the roadway.
Tim McAlavy, public information officer for the Paris TxDOT District, asked drivers to be cautious when driving through the construction areas, noting that speed tickets in work zones can be high.
“Plus, we don’t want anyone to be hurt be it drivers, contractors or workers,” he said.