MINNEAPOLIS - Go ahead and push the pedal down a bit harder on 730 miles of Minnesota highways.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says it's raising the posted speed limit from 55 miles per hour to 60 along three highways in greater Minnesota.
New signs reflecting the higher limits began going up on Monday.
State officials say traffic engineers determined that higher limits don't pose safety risks on the affected routes.
"We did a careful and thorough study, looking at crash history, the way the roads are designed and what speed the traffic is actually traveling on the road," said Sue Groth, MnDOT's state traffic engineer. "Sixty miles per hour was determined to be the safe and reasonable speed limits for these roadways."
The higher limits include the entire length of Highway 75, which enters Minnesota south of Luverne and runs through Pipestone, Canby and Breckenridge and is the main north-south route through Moorhead. It ends at the Canadian border north of Noyes.
The 60 mph limit also affects the majority of Highway 59, which also spans the state from south to north. Fourteen miles of Highway 7 will also see a change.
In 2005, MnDOT raised speed limits from 55 mph to 60 mph on 930 miles of state highways. A study of these roads conducted last year found no negative safety impact.
"MnDOT is not in favor of increasing speed limits across the entire state," Groth said. "When carefully selecting roadways with the proper characteristics, an increase in the speed limit can occur without negatively affecting overall safety."
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