The governor made the announcement Wednesday. About 680 miles of highway will see an increase from 65 to 70 miles per hour.
The decision didn't come without some research. VDOT studied more than 786 miles of interstate highways for potential speed limit changes. Engineers reviewed crash patterns and history, speed data, physical conditions of the roadways, and traffic patterns for candidate segments of highway. After input from Virginia State Police, segments that could safely be raised to 70 mph were identified.
The speed limit change includes most of I-81 as well as I-66 west of Route 15 in Haymarket. Drivers can also expect to see the higher speed limits on sections of I-95 just south of Ashland and south of Fredericksburg.
According to the state, additional safety improvements for some segments are also planned for the coming months. These include the installation or upgrade of guardrails, rumble strips, and additional signage.