Speed Limit Increase on I-81 in Sullivan County Announced

I-81's speed limit in Sullivan County will rise to 70 mph.

KNOXVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has announced a forthcoming change to the speed limit on Interstate 81 (I-81) in Sullivan County, aiming to enhance the flow of traffic and ensure the safety of motorists. Starting Monday, March 4, the speed limit on I-81 from the Washington County line to the Virginia state line will be increased from 65 miles per hour (mph) for vehicles and 55 mph for trucks to a uniform 70 mph for all vehicles.

This decision comes after comprehensive spot speed studies, crash analyses, and considerations regarding the continuity of speed zones along this stretch of the interstate. The adjustment is a direct response to feedback received from the general public, law enforcement, and local municipal partners, highlighting TDOT’s commitment to addressing community concerns and prioritizing the safety of all road users.

TDOT officials have indicated that crews will be deployed to replace speed limit signage along the affected corridor next week, with the operation’s timing dependent on favorable weather conditions. Motorists traveling through this area are advised to exercise extreme caution, especially during this transition period.

The department also reminds drivers to stay informed about travel conditions by using available motorist information tools before embarking on their journeys. As part of the broader campaign to promote road safety, TDOT urges drivers to refrain from engaging in distracting activities such as tweeting, texting, or talking on a cell phone while driving.

This speed limit change is part of TDOT’s ongoing efforts to evaluate and update roadway regulations to reflect current traffic patterns, technological advancements, and the evolving needs of the communities it serves.

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