You may remember we covered the development of this highway last month but it's official, the 40-mile stretch of highway running between San Antonio and Austin Texas with the 85 mph speed limit is now active, but there's a catch. It's a toll road and it's going to cost you 15 cents a mile to drive it, adding up to over $12 a day for your two-way commute or $3,000+ per year driving to and from work. Yikes!

Apparently this is a privately developed road and the developer would like to recoup their expenses quickly as they paid an additional fee to the state in order to get the speed limit raised to 85 to the tune of $100 MILLION dollars!! Regardless of what happened or is happening behind the scenes, residents have mixed opinions and this is what the highway administration had to say:

"There is a lot of wide open space in Texas which makes sense with these higher posted speed limits--the 85, 75 80 mph roads are all out in rural areas that can handle that kind of traffic. It is important to remember that through towns like San Antonio, Austin and Dallas the speed limits are not set at 85 mph; we are not building a race track through the middle of town, we just want to make sure people can get safely and reliably where they need to go."

The road was apparently built to relieve congestion between the two cities and commuters may see the toll fees as worth it considering the lowered frustration level they'll experience in return. Of course assuming that they don't lose control of their vehicle in the meantime. However, the rebuttal...

"Whenever we see a posted speed limit, we think we can go above it, we think we can go 5 or 10 mph above it and a lot of cases we can't, so the reality is you're talking about the flow of traffic being 90, 95, even a little bit more, and so if you're in a crash, you're just not going to survive, even if you wear a seatbelt."

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As a speed demon and a confessed user of the 5-10 over rule, I'm forced to agree with the latter's comments. I guess it will remain to be seen if this is indeed a good idea and proves safe in the only way that you can measure safety, by collecting accident data over time. My fingers are crossed and seat belts securely fastened on this one!

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