No 80 on I-80, but otherwise Nebraska motorists might well be able to travel faster on the state roadways soon.
Legislators have advanced LB 1009, which authorizes the Nebraska Department of Transportation to increase speed limits on state highways by five-miles-per-hour once it determines it is safe to do so.
An amendment took I-80 out of the bill, a disappointment to some who envisioned being able to drive 80 miles per hour on I-80 legally.
Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard tells colleagues he’s disappointed the amendment removed I-80 from the bill, leaving its speed limit at 75.
“I-80 is, in my opinion, an 82 mile an hour highway. That’s about where I drive; seems to be the speed that is most acceptable to most of the traffic. I get passed quite a bit,” Erdman tells colleagues. “So, I’m disappointed we can’t go to 80 out there, but I do understand the reasoning.”
NDOT engineers have stated the on and off ramps along I-80 were not built for an 80mph highway, because they are too short to safety exit the highway at that speed.
LB 1009 advances on a 35-2 vote.
One of the dissenting votes comes from Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston, who worries about raising speed limits on highways in her district.
“There’s hardly anyone on the road when I hit Highway 9,” according to Albrecht. “But I’m here to tell you if you’re on Highway 9 during planting or harvest or when they’re moving cattle, you better be ready, because you can fly over a hill going 60 miles an hour and hit the skids, because somebody is pulling out with a grain cart.”
The bill must clear two more rounds of votes to go to the desk of the governor.