Motorists will soon be able to legally drive up to 80 mph on nearly 500 miles of rural interstate highway in Wyoming, resulting from action taken by the state Legislature during its 2014 session.

On July 1, WYDOT crews will begin the process of changing speed limit signs along three sections of Interstate 25, totaling 268 miles in length, as well as on three sections of I-80 (116 miles) and two sections of I-90 (104 miles). The agency hopes to complete sign changeover work by the beginning of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

WYDOT spokesman Bruce Burrows says Motorists should be aware that during the transition, the 75 mph speed limit will remain in force until the new 80 mph signs are in place.

In approving the speed limit increase, legislators directed WYDOT to conduct a study of the three rural interstate routes to determine where a speed limit of 80 would be appropriate. The study was completed recently and presented to the Wyoming Transportation Commission during its June 19 meeting in Cheyenne.

WYDOT is continuing to assess two other sections of interstate where a speed limit increase could be possible. Going forward, WYDOT will continue to monitor those Interstate sections going to the 80 mph speed limit this summer. The results of the speed limit increase will be revisited to determine if further changes in section lengths will be warranted.