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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Unpaved roads get speed limit

Thursday, July 3, 2014


RICHMOND — A 35 mph speed limit is now in effect on unpaved roads across Virginia.

Drivers had been allowed to travel up to 55 mph on unpaved roads, but that changed Tuesday when a new state law hit the books. The Virginia Department of Transportation proposed the 35 mph speed limit.

The law does not require VDOT to post speed limits on unpaved roads. The department is working with the Department of Motor Vehicles to educate drivers on the new limit.

Martinsville VDOT Resident Engineer Lisa Price Hughes said that in Henry County, there is only one unpaved state-maintained road: Mayo Landing Road, which is 0.17 of a mile long. It is off U.S. 58 West near the Mayo River.

The road sees roughly six vehicles per day in traffic, Hughes said. To be able to use unpaved roads funds to pave the road, a state road must have more than 50 vehicles per day in traffic, she said.

Patrick County, Hughes said, has about 50 unpaved state-maintained roads totaling 96.61 miles.

“Here and there, I’ve always gotten requests to post (speed limits on) gravel roads” in Patrick County, Hughes said. “People need to drive for the conditions. It’s very difficult to drive 55 (mph) on a gravel road.”


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