FARMINGTON, Utah — Travel on the four-lane Legacy Parkway north of Salt Lake might feel faster and more crowded this week. That’s because the sunset clause on the semi ban and speed limit expires on New Years Day.
When construction on the road finished in 2008, the Utah Department of Transportation agreed to limit the speeds to no more than 55 mph. The legislature also agreed to allow semis on the freeway only during emergencies. Earlier this year, Utah lawmakers declined to extend that agreement.
UDOT spokesman John Gleason says his agency doesn’t have the authority to maintain the tractor-trailer ban since the legislature enacted it.
The speed limit, though, is something that UDOT can control. Gleason says their studies of the road showed that 85% of drivers on the Legacy Parkway were already driving 70 mph. It was one reason why they decided to raise the speed limit.
“They can’t be too low or too high, and you want to follow what the majority of drivers are doing,” Gleason said.
“With the guidelines of every other road in the state, we have to set the appropriate speed limit, [and] the appropriate speed limit for Legacy, we’ve determined, is 65 mph,” he said.
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