Your Aug. 17 Pre-Trip: Utah finds speed remains ‘about the same’ in 80 mph zones

Here are five things worth knowing today: 1. A Utah Department of Transportation study has found that speeds have increased by only about 1 mph on I-70, where the speed limit was recently bumped to 80 from 75 mph. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that when the speed limit was 75 mph, average real speeds were about 82-83 mph. Now, according to a DOT spokesperson, the speed averages 84 mph. What has changed, according to the report, is more traffic now travels at similar speeds. “When limits were slower, traffic that insisted on obeying speed limits often went much slower than speeders,” according to the Tribune. “Difference in speed is considered a major cause of accidents and fast cars come up quickly on slower traffic.”2. A portion of the I-65 bridge in Indiana is closed until mid-September, according to JConline. Northbound I-65, a 37-mile stretch from Lebanon to Lafayette has been closed since Aug. 7 and will remain closed while contractors work to stabilize the bridge over Wildcat Creek, according to the report. At the beginning of the month, engineers noticed the bridge pier had sunk 9 inches, and a long-term closure followed a previous 28-hour shutdown so steel supports could be installed. The main detour routes northbound traffic off 65 at the 141-mile marker in Lebanon onto Route 52. JConline has more. 3. General Motors is ramping up its production of SUVs and trucks, according to Bidness Etc. The automaker plans to produce an addition of 48,000 to 60,000 vehicles in the company’s output of model year 2016, the report said. GM is also expected to increase its production of pickup trucks, the report said, though it is unclear how the company plans to boost truck production. Bidness Etc. has more. 4. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce just announced the top 10 finalists of the 2015 America’s Transportation Awards Competition, AASHTO reports. This year 24 states entered 48 projects that were judged in three categories. The top 10 are: Florida’s I-595 Corridor Improvements and the state’s Port of Miami Tunnel; Indiana/Kentucky’s Milton Madison Bridge; Michigan’s 96Fix; Montana’s Deep Creek Canyon Bridge; New Mexico’s Paseo del Norte/I-25 Reconstruction; North Dakota’s Watford City Bypass; South Carolina’s Assembly Street Improvement Project; Texas’ North Tarrant Express; and Utah’s I-15 Us-91/1100 South Interchange. 5. The Port of Los Angeles experienced a dip in container cargo volume in July, the LA Business Journal reports. L.A. port officials reported that about 699,130 containers moved through its terminals last month – a 2.5% decrease from the same time last year. “Imports slipped 3.5% while exports fell 16.4%,” the Business Journal said. “Overall figures were boosted by an 11.2% increase in the number of empty containers that returned to oversea ports.”

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