Rep. Martha Jane King announced this week that the speed limit on KY 68/80 in Logan County will soon be increasing from 55 mph to 65 mph, along most of the route.
The speed limit will be raised to 65 mph on approximately 58.75 miles of US 68 between Cadiz and Bowling Green. The 65 mph limit will start just east of US 68X in Cadiz. The speed limit will not be raised on a short 5-lane section around the I-24 interchange in Trigg County, the section through Hopkinsville, or the section through Russellville. The 65 mph will ultimately stop at an existing 45 mph zone to the west of Bowling Green.
Specifically, within Logan County, the speed limit would transition from 65 to 55 on the western approach to the Russellville Bypass. The 65 mph speed limit would pick up again on the eastern side of the Bypass.
“This is great news for Todd and Logan counties and all of the counties located between I-65 and 24,” King said. “Increasing the speed limit to 65 mph will open that stretch of highway to more commerce, travel and traffic which translates into economic opportunities for all of us.”
The reason for the increase is primarily one driven by economic development.
“This is not so that people can drive faster,” said Logan Economic Alliance for Development (LEAD) executive director Tom Harned.
Harned explained that when companies are making decisions about where to locate a new industry, one of the first things they look at is transportation.
In the early stages of research, they see that the speed limit on 68/80 is only 55 mph and that creates an immediate negative reaction to the road.
“Whenever we get them down for a site visit, they are always pleasantly surprised when they see 68/80,” Harned said. “Now, hopefully, this will help us get some more site visits down here.”
The new speed limit will also alter GPS and Internet search maps along the road.
“They take the speed limit into account when they give their directions,” Harned said. “That’s why if you map out how to go from Russellville to St. Louis, it has you go down Rt. 79 to Clarksville and then get on I-24. Because the speed limit was 55, those programs look at 68 as being just the same as 79.”
King said that the new speed limit is possible because of the work of many individuals.
“I want to thank Tom Harned and Kentucky Department of Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock and the engineers and the folks I worked with on this project,” said King. “I am proud that we have convinced the Department of Transportation how important this speed increase is to Logan County. Trucks carrying goods across Logan County will be able to do so much more quickly and efficiently and this increase will help attract more commercial traffic throughout our area.”
Governor Steve Beshear and King will be in Logan County on Tuesday, October 2, to make this announcement to the community. The time and place will be announced soon.