Texas Opens High-Speed Toll Road

Several interstates have speed limits higher than 65 mph, but Texas has the first 85 mph toll road. The privately owned, 91-mile highway recently opened, giving Texas the fastest highway in the U.S.

The high-speed segment of Texas State Highway 130 stretches between San Antonio and Austin, Texas. The Detroit Bureau reports that it is operated by SH 130 Concession Co., which paid a $100 million fee for the right to set the 85 mph speed limit.

Motorists pay 15 cents per mile to use it and get to bypass the city of Austin, an area typically clogged by traffic. Originally conceived by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the superhighway is only a fraction of what the governor originally envisioned. Perry's Trans Texas Corridor was to have been a high-speed, privately owned highway across the state. It was pared down to a 91-mile section.

Not everyone is happy about the increased speed limit, however. "The research is clear that when speed limits go up, fatalities go up," Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said in a statement.

Would you pay a toll to be able to legally drive 85 mph? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan.  Email Jennifer