COEUR D’ALENE – Following a review of engineering and traffic safety reports, the Idaho Transportation Board approved a plan on Friday (July 11) to increase the speed limit on selected rural sections of interstates in southern and eastern Idaho. The increases were approved with the requirement of an annual review by the Board to ensure continued safe highway operations.

“The Board considered all of the comments received, reviewed the engineering study, discussed concerns and concurred with the ITD recommendation,” said transportation department Chief Operations Officer Jim Carpenter. The decision was made at the monthly Board meeting in Coeur d'Alene.

The maximum speed limit on sections of interstates 15, 84 and 86 will increase to 80 mph by early August, following coordination of sign installation. The speed limits do not increase until the new signs are in place.

"Motorists are reminded that these are maximum speeds, but all should drive according to weather and other condition limitations,” Carpenter added.

The maximum speed for trucks will increase to 70 mph.

While the speed-limit increase is in effect for rural sections of interstate, the speed limit in urban areas will not increase. The Treasure Valley, between Caldwell and east Boise, as well as Pocatello and Idaho Falls, will remain 65 mph.

Legislation allowing the Idaho Transportation Board to increase the speed limit was approved by the Idaho Legislature during the 2014 session. The new speed-limit law also allows for increases on non-interstate highways to 70 mph.

ITD completed the necessary traffic studies and engineering reviews during May and June.

Engineering studies on state highways will be completed at later dates before speed-limit changes will be considered.