WAKE COUNTY – Your commute may soon be faster when traveling on three Triangle highways. The state Department of Transportation says that the speed limit will increase from 65 to 70 mph on several stretches of highway within the next week.

Steve Abbott, NCDOT Communications Officer, says the highways with the increased speed limit are I-540 between Glenwood Avenue (U.S. 70) and I-40; all of N.C. 540, including the Triangle Expressway; and N.C. 147 between N.C. 540 and I-40. Abbott says the change was motivated by driver request.

“We go out and review current speeds, and we do crash data tests,” Abbott says. “We look at road characteristics to see if the roads are the type that can handle the higher speed. In this case it did work out, so we were able to boost it by 5 mph.”

A contractor is expected to install the new speed limit signs this week, with the new law taking effect as the signs are installed. All signs are expected to be in place by the end of the month.

Abbott says the change will likely improve traffic flow.

“Most of the traffic was already going about 70 mph and cheating a little bit and going over the speed limit,” he says. “Then you had another group that way obeying the speed limit, so that actually produced two different groups of drivers. Now you should have more free-flowing traffic.”

A similar increase was enacted in February for the other section of I-540 between Glenwood Avenue and U.S. 64/264.