• Speed limit to increase to 70 mph on SR-417, 429


    CENTRAL FLORIDA - Orange County Expressway board members unanimously approved raising the speed limits along State Road 417 and State Road 429 toll roads Thursday.

    The new 70 mph speed limit would mostly be through rural areas, including SR-417 south of Orlando and SR-429 between Interstate 4 and the Apopka area.

    The Central Florida Expressway Authority conducted a study which included looking at traffic patterns, accident history and roadway design.

    According to the study, 85 percent of drivers are already driving from 70 to nearly 80 mph on those roads and the study concluded that increasing the speed limit would improve traffic flow.

    "The flow is 70. We want our drivers to be safe, so streamlining the flow through there is going to make it safer," said Expressway Authority board chairman Welton Cadwell.

    Raising the speed limit would come at a cost to taxpayers, as officials start replacing signage and notifying drivers.

    Officials said 65 signs will have to be replaced on both toll roads, costing about $76,000.

    "That's the nature of the sign business. We're going to try to provide those signs as inexpensively as we can, but that's the price we're given," said Cadwell.

    It will take about three months to replace the signs and drivers could see the higher speed limit go into effect after January.

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