AUGUSTA — The speed limit on Interstate 295 between Falmouth and Topsham will be reduced next month from 70 mph to 65 mph.
The Maine Department of Transportation said Wednesday that crashes along the corridor had increased 29 percent since the limit rose from 65 mph to 70 mph in 2014. Traffic volume also increased by 6.4 percent, according to DOT data.
“It’s important to note, that while an increase in traffic volume on I-295 has led to more crashes, speed and driver distraction are also major factors,” DOT Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor said in a press release. “By lowering the speed limit, we hope to allow drivers more reaction time to any event that may occur on the highway.”
The speed limit reduction is due to take effect March 27. Message boards alerting motorists of the change will be posted two weeks in advance, and all the speed limit signs will be replaced by the end of March.