Drivers on Interstate 88 will legally be able to drive to and from DeKalb at 70 mph starting as soon as January.
The Illinois Tollway’s Board of Directors on Thursday approved increasing the limit from 65 mph on 64 miles of I-88 west of Route 47.
“We’re committed to enacting this law responsibly while maintaining the high standard of safety that has always been our top priority,” Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said in a news release.
The speed limit for passenger vehicles will be 70 mph for all 64 miles west of Route 47, while the limit for trucks and commercial vehicles weighing more than 4 tons will remain at 55 mph east of the DeKalb County line, according to a news release from the tollway.
Along with the increase in the maximum speed limit, tollway officials want to increase the posted minimum speed limit from 45 mph to 55 mph in order to keep traffic flowing evenly.
Drivers on Interstate 90 also will be able to speed up once they pass the Interstate 39 interchange near Rockford. The tollway plans to increase the speed limit on 15 miles of I-90 in Winnebago county to 70 mph.
The tollway could seek to increase speed limits elsewhere once construction work is finished, officials said. New speed limits will take effect in 2014, once new signs are posted.
Illinois legislators passed the speed limit increase measure in May, and Gov. Pat Quinn signed it in August, despite safety concerns from groups including the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police. Illinois became the 37th state to approve a speed limit of 70 mph or greater since the national speed limit was repealed in 1995. Wisconsin is considering increasing its limit from 65 mph, and all other states bordering Illinois already allow 70 as their maximum limit.