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MnDOT boosts speed limit from 55 to 60 on 3 state highways

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation officially raised the speed limit Monday on three state highways, The Associated Press reports.

The speed limit was boosted from 55 mph to 60 mph on the full length of Highway 75, which stretches from the southern corner of the state to the Canadian border. In addition, the speed limit was raised to 60 on the majority of Highway 59, which enters Minnesota in Worthington and ends at the Canadian border.

Lastly, the limit was raised to 60 on 14 miles of Highway 7 between Highway 75 and Highway 59.

In all, the changes affect 730 miles of Minnesota's roadways. Here's more info on the action from MnDOT.

According to the Park Rapids Enterprise, MnDOT engineers in Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Willmar and Mankato districts examined the best candidate highways for the speed limit increase.

"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,” MnDOT state traffic engineer Sue Groth says.

After the study, Groth said the 60 mph was determined as the "safe and reasonable speed limits" for the three highways affected.

New signs for the increased speed limits started to go up Monday, and MnDOT estimates that it will take one to two weeks before all the signs are posted, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports.

The increase in the speed limit comes eight years after MnDOT raised the limit on 930 miles of state highways from 55 mph to 60 mph.

A 2012 study determined that there was no safety impact by the increased speed limit, the Enterprise says.

Overall, Groth says, MnDOT is not interested in increasing speed limits across the entire state.

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