Due to an uptick in crashes since the speed limit on I-295 was raised from 65 to 70 miles per hour, the Maine Department of Transportation has announced it will revert the speed limit back to 65 mph beginning March 27.
MaineDOT says it raised the speed limit in 2014 and has since seen a 29 percent increase in crashes, along with a 6.4 percent increase in traffic volume.
“It’s important to note, that while an increase in traffic volume on I-295 has led to more crashes, speed and driver distraction are also major factors,” says MaineDOT Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor. “By lowering the speed limit, we hope to allow drivers more reaction time to any event that may occur on the highway.”
The department says message boards will be used to alert drivers two weeks before the speed limit adjustment takes place. MaineDOT also plans to have all physical speed signs replaced by the end of March, the department says.