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Speed Limit Cut to 60 mph
On Northbound Route 13

The speed limit will be reduced to 60 mph along a 14-mile long section of northbound Route 13 between Springfield and Bolivar, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.

The lower speed limit in northern Greene and southern Polk counties is scheduled to go into effect the week of Jan. 31 unless bad weather causes delays in changing signs.

The current maximum speed limit is 65 mph.

MoDOT District Engineer Dale Ricks said the speed limit reduction is another in a series of steps aimed at improving safety along northbound Route 13. The goal is to reduce accidents, he said.

"The problem here is people are overdriving the roadway," Ricks said. "People need to slow down on this section of roadway."

MoDOT has added to the number of signs that alert drivers of upcoming curves and made other safety improvements. MoDOT also supported police agencies in a speed enforcement program to try to slow traffic.

However, the accident rate along northbound Route 13 is greater than the southbound side and is greater than the statewide rate for similar roadways.

The northbound two-lane section is the old highway built in the 1920s. The roadway, with no shoulders, has many curves and hills and is intersected by numerous side roads and driveways.

The new 60-mph section:

  • Starts at about Pinewood Drive north of Route WW -- a little north of the Ebenezer community -- where the northbound and southbound lanes separate.
  • Ends just north of the Slagle community where the northbound and southbound lanes return to side-by-side alignment.

The southbound section also has many intersections, but the roadway is built according to more modern standards. The southbound lanes, built in the mid-1970s, are straighter than the northbound lanes, have more gradual slopes and have shoulders. The southbound speed limit will remain 65 mph.

Route 13 between Springfield and Bolivar is scheduled for pavement improvements in 2005 under MoDOT's new Smooth Roads Initiative using Amendment 3 funds. The southbound lanes will receive a smoothing treatment in a diamond-grinding operation. The northbound lanes will be resurfaced. Both sides of the highway will get striping and sign improvements.






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