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TxDOT drops speed
Slow down! The speed limit on an approximately 9-mile stretch of U.S. 181 between the Floresville city limit and the Bexar-Wilson county line in Elmendorf now is 65 mph.
Shortly after the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) extended the 55 mph speed zone on U.S. 181 at the northern edge of the Floresville city limit in January, several Wilson County News readers contacted the newspaper about the posted speeds north of the city.
Until then, the speed limit from north of Floresville to the county line was 70 mph. That speed was reduced to 65 mph.
But unlike stretches of state roadways that are within the borders of an incorporated city, such as Floresville, speed zone changes on stretches in the unincorporated county do not require approval from the Wilson County Commissioners Court, said TxDOT spokesman Laura Lopez.
The change has caught motorists by surprise. It also came as a shock to the area’s Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol troopers, including Cpl. Javier Reyes. He said troopers stationed in the Floresville office did not know of the speed-limit change until after seeing the new signs.
Lopez said there is no procedure for notifying law-enforcement personnel of such a change.
“Normally the maintenance supervisor will notify DPS with the change,” she said.
Tim Lowak, who serves as TxDOT’s maintenance supervisor for Wilson County, could not be reached for comment prior to press time Monday, March 31.
Documents obtained from TxDOT by the Wilson County News through an open records request indicate that the agency first explored the change in late 2012. This led to a traffic study in July 2013 and a subsequent order in November of that year to lower the posted speed.
The speed zone change in Floresville was approved by the Floresville City Council in the wake of recent annexation changes that extended the city limit northward to the C.R. 130/C.R. 330 intersection near the Walmart Supercenter. Previously, southbound motorists would be required to drive at 55 mph upon reaching the Connally Memorial Medical Center. At the same point, the northbound side of the roadway was posted at 70 mph.
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