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BOC moving to codify higher Interstate 285 speed limit

JONESBORO — Drivers will soon be able to push the pedal a little closer to the metal on Interstate 285 without breaking the law.

Documents presented to the Clayton County Board of Commissioners show the Georgia Department of Transportation is planning to raise the interstate’s speed limit from 55 mph to 65 mph in the county. Commissioners are being asked by GDOT officials to adopt a new list of roadways in the county to formally acknowledge the increase.

The list includes the speed limits on roadways and commissioners must adopt it to enforce those limits. The lists are also required for use of speed detection devices.

“Per Georgia DOT, without the new list of roadways, the county will not be able to enforce the 65 mph speed limit on I-285 with speed detection devices,” Clayton County Department of Transportation Director Jeff Metarko wrote in a Sept. 20 legislative request letter presented to commissioners this week.

But codifying the new speed limit is not a quick process. It takes an ordinance to make the new speed limit law and that requires two readings at consecutive commission meetings. The first reading was this week. The next one will be done Oct. 15.

Although the county commission is being asked to codify the new speed limit only for Clayton County, Chairman Jeff Turner said the increase is not limited to the southside of metro Atlanta.

“They’re raising it for all of 285,” he said.

County officials will apply for a new speed detection device permit once the list is formally approved by commissioners.