County Road 81: one road, two speed limits
One road, two speed limits. Drivers using a segment of County Road 81 need to pay close attention to the posted speed limit. That's because it is not the same in each direction.

"The speed limits are set by MnDOT for different roadways," said Colin Cox, a Hennepin County transportation spokesperson. "We put in a request for this roadway for this construction area and they had to approve that request."

The segment of County Road 81 with differing speed limits is between I–94 in Brooklyn Park and Bass Lake Road in Crystal. The northbound speed limit is 45 miles per hour and southbound is 55.

The lower speed is a buffer to get drivers ready for an upcoming road construction area.

"The idea would be to get motorists to slow down," Cox said. "In preparation for that construction ahead."

Different speed limits on the same road are not uncommon. But in the case of County Road 81, there are no warnings about decreasing your speed when traveling north.

"What I think might be unusual for people is that typically they might see something like a construction speed limit zone sign or something," Cox said. "In this case we're talking just a standard speed limit sign."

Now, 10 miles per hour might not seem like much to some, but for construction workers in a cone zone it is a very good thing.

"If you talk to any number of the people that work on these projects and you see the cars going by that difference in 10 miles per hour can be quite huge for those workers out there," Cox said.

Eric Nelson, reporting



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