Locals have mixed reviews on bill that could eliminate speed limit on I-5, Hwy 99

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Congested roadways on Interstate 5 and State Route 99 could be a thing of the past if a California state senator gets his way.

State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Orange County) has filed a bill that would add two specialty lanes to either direction of the freeways, and the 65 miles per hour speed limit would not apply.

"You're going to know it's safe. You're going to be very safe if you have passengers and you're going to pay attention," he said.

It's all in an effort to eliminate greenhouse gases. Senator Moorlach is also calling it a "viable alternative" to the high-speed rail project.

"So now you don't have to figure out a way to get around trucks that are passing trucks. which slow you down make your fuel usage inefficient now we have an opportunity to get you in either direction at a mode that you're comfortable with," the Senator said.

"I mean if they can do it some kind of safe way I don't really have a problem with it," said Skip Baker.

Baker has 29 years of driving big rigs under his belt, so he sees the pros and cons.

"I just don't know how they're going to do it how much it's going to cost," Baker said.

"It already scares me when you have a speed limit saying 65, and you have people going 80, 85," said Marissa Arora.

Arora is keeping her precious cargo in mind, her two-year-old daughter.

"On the freeway, I take extra precautions so I don't know if I would want to travel on a freeway like that," she said.

California highway speed limits are automatically 65 unless authorized to increase up to 70 miles per hours on designated areas.

"We want everyone to be traveling at about the same speed. Because when you have less differential of speed you have less potential of a conflict," said District 6 Maintenance Operation Deputy John Liu.

He says Caltrans works with CHP and looks at the designs of roadways to determine the speed limit.

"We have concerns about sight distance when you drive faster than that, so our highways are not designed for anything higher than about 75 or 80 miles per hour," Liu said.

The bill must pass with majority votes from the State Senate. At this time, no price tag or timeline on how this project will come to fruition has been released.

Read Bill No. 319 here.
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