St. Landry

Apr 13, 2011 12:05 PM by Press Release

Speed Limit Increase Along I-49 in Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that the speed limit on rural portions of I-49 in Evangeline and St. Landry parishes will be raised from 70 mph to 75 mph.

DOTD engineers study speed limits on state maintained roadways to ensure they are set correctly. Recently, the DOTD traffic engineering office in Lafayette launched a traffic study to help determine what the safest and most efficient posted speed limit should be on the rural portions of I-49. After reviewing the results of the study, it was determined that 85% of all drivers traveling on this section of I-49 are traveling at or below 75 mph. The new speed limit will go into effect in the next 2 weeks.

National studies and practices have shown that setting the speed limit at the 85th percentile can help to reduce crashes along the roadway. Speed limits set higher than the 85th percentile are not considered reasonable and safe, and speed limits set below the 85th percentile do not move traffic efficiently. In addition, speed limits set below the 85th percentile cannot be enforced effectively and are not voluntarily observed by motorists.

The new speed limit will be in effect on the entire section of I-49 in Evangeline Parish. In St. Landry Parish, the new speed limit will be in effect from the Evangeline Parish line to approximately 0.5 miles south of the U.S. 167/La. 744 interchange. The highway features on these sections of roadway can safely accommodate higher speeds.

To ensure the safety of motorists, DOTD personnel will install automated speed and count stations along the roadway to monitor speeds and crashes along this section of I-49. DOTD will reexamine the speed limit increase if at any time data supports a new study.

For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, or call DOTD's Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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