The speed limit on a section of Highway 72 between Rolla and Salem will remain at 60 mph, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has decided after conducting a speed study on the highway.
Preston Kramer, MoDOT area engineer, informed The Rolla Daily News Monday that "we have completed that study and we will be leaving it (speed limit) at 60 mph."
The speed limit is currently 60 mph between Route F, west of the Rolla city limits, and the Salem Memorial District Hospital outside of Salem.
Kramer said in the fall of 2012, several people in the Salem area requested the speed limit along the portion of highway be raised to 65 mph.
The study was conducted in the winter and spring of 2013 by MoDOT staff and after looking at many different factors, "everything pointed to just leaving it (speed limit) alone," Kramer said.
Among the factors considered in the study were the overall general makeup of the roadway, the number of curves, sight distance, the frequency and length of passing opportunities, lane and shoulder widths, entrances to the highway, accident history as well as observing how fast motorists are currently traveling on the highway.
Kramer noted that while there have been significant improvements to the highway in the last 10 years and there have been both fewer and less severe accidents than there were 15 or 20 years ago, "it's still a two-lane state highway."
Kramer said as word of the study spread, he heard from groups in favor and in opposition to raising the speed limit.