Is the American autobahn finally here?
Not quite, but it's getting closer. The signs on a newly opened Texas toll road read 85 mph, the highest posted speed limit in the nation.
The 41-mile stretch on the way from Austin to San Antonio breaks new ground in other ways as well, allowing a private company to charge drivers desperate to avoid the gridlock on nearby Interstate 35.
Since November, one fatality has been recorded on State Highway 130 and isn't believed to be speed-related. One driver has hit a deer. And two have hit feral hogs. ( You're covered for either if you have comprehensive insurance.)Safety experts and consumer advocates have expressed concern about the new speed limit and question the motives. Under a contract with Concession Co., which will operate the road, Texas will receive a one-time payment of $100 million for setting the limit at 85 mph. The payment would drop to $67 million if the limit were a mere 80 mph. The limit on a parallel, non-toll road was reduced from 65 mph to 55 mph.