The speed limit on Maryland's new, $3 billion highway will be raised to 60 m.p.h. by March 31, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority. The current limit on the Intercounty Connector is 55.
The higher limit may satisfy some drivers but won't speed up their commutes significantly.
"Going from 55 to 60 really only represents a time savings of about a minute and a half," said MDTA Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett.
The agency studied the highway's geometry and performed a crash analysis for the ICC's first year of operations before deciding to bump the speed limit.
“We are confident that a 60 m.p.h speed limit is safe and justifiable based on the design speed and geometry of the roadway, as well as on the speed most motorists are comfortable traveling the ICC," Bartlett said.
There is no national speed limit. States are free to set their own limits guided by safety considerations. Texas recently posted the highest speed limit in the U.S. at 85 m.p.h. also for a new toll road, and did so in part for financial reasons.