Could Texas highway 130’s new 85mph speed limit draw tourists with a need for speed?
IN NOVEMBER, Texas highway 130 will top the nation’s fastest road, with a posted speed limit of 85 mph. That puts the US second fastest country in the world (a few stretches of highway in Poland are faster by 1 mph).
It wasn’t long ago that 85 mph would peg the speedo of the average American automobile.
The buzz around Texas 130’s speed limit reminds me of the late 1990’s when Montana’s daytime speed limits changed to “reasonable and prudent.” During that four-year stretch, I saw my first Dodge Viper, along with a slew of Corvettes, Ferraris and Porches as drivers came to see what their cars could do when unleashed on long stretches of Montana blacktop.
It seems unlikely that one stretch of highway near Austin could match a whole state in drawing high-speed tourists. If it does, it could be a boon to both Cintra, the Spanish company raking in the tolls, and the state, which is slated to get $100 million premium from the Cintra-led consortium administering the highway (not to mention the local municipalities busting drivers edging into the 90+mph range.)
The biggest winners will be all those gas stations lining the freeway exits stocking up on high-octane gasoline and “I hauled-ass in Texas” T-shirts.
About this author:
Eric Warren has an unhealthy love of all types of transportation, and is addicted to long stretches of open road.