From 55 to 45

Friday, June 22, 2012
New digital signs warning of cross traffic in the construction zone in north Spencer, along with a reduced speed limit, will attempt to alert drivers to potential dangers at the busy north Y intersection. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)

Following six accidents on a stretch of U.S. Highway 71 currently under construction, local law enforcement officials requested a lower speed limit for the portion of the highway within Spencer city limits.

The Iowa Department of Transportation granted that request Tuesday.

"They had a meeting in Ames," Spencer Police Chief Mark Lawson said. "Once they had their information, everyone was in agreement.

"It falls under their transition area," Lawson continued.

Speed limit reduced in northern Spencer

"The original speed was 65 mph, so they dropped it to 55 mph. When it was brought up that we requested the city limits portion to decrease from 55 mph to 45 mph, that fell within their parameters and they made the adjustment."

The speed limit will now remain 45 mph until the turnoff for Spencer Livestock Sales, though the chief had hoped it would stretch to the local Morton Buildings headquarters.

Speed enforcement will increase in the construction zone to prevent accidents in the area of the north Y. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)

"We'll take what we can get," Lawson said.

He added that local law enforcement is happy with the change and he hopes drivers will obey it.

"You can make all the changes in the world, but it's still up to the drivers to comply," Lawson said.

Failure to comply will come with a price. For example, a ticket for driving 5 mph over the speed limit increases from $87 to $262.50 in a construction zone.

The speed limit will be strictly enforced.

"We will be enforcing that, but we will also be working with the sheriff's office and Iowa State Patrol to enforce that," Lawson said. "Just because of the layout of the highway, it will be difficult for one department to get drivers to slow down, so we will be working hand-in-hand with them."

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  • Oh no, it's going to take another 45 seconds to get to the Lakes...

    Better to get there safe than not at all!

    -- Posted by Dennis the Menace on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 5:14 PM
  • i was happey to see the change and as i was at the north y today i saw a spencer pd ticking a car as he got done with one car within 5 mins or less he got another car speeding.. WAY TO GO SPENCER PD.. at that rate they should have lots of tickets issued by midnight lol

    -- Posted by moonman on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 5:36 PM
  • What I don't understand is this....why is the whole darn highway from Spencer to Milford blocked off all at once, when in fact, they aren't even doing any work on it right now?! It is VERY frustrating!!!

    -- Posted by brown71278 on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 11:26 AM
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