Motorists are getting through Surprise on Grand Avenue a little quicker lately.
That’s because the Arizona Department of Transportation has raised the speed limit on two stretches of Grand that run through Surprise.
The stretch from Thunderbird to Reems roads has been raised from 45 mph to 50. And the stretch from Reems to R.H.Johnson Boulevard has been boosted up to 55 mph.
The changes went into effect Nov. 21 when crews replaced the signs.
ADOT was responsible for making the changes since it is considered a state highway, not a city road, Surprise police spokesman Tim Klarkowski said.
Officials with ADOT said they made the changes for safety reasons.
The group waited until the completion of construction projects — which included roadway and intersection improvements between Thunderbird and Greenway roads — before traffic evaluators determined if the rise in the speed would work
According to a news release from the City of Surprise, “The updated speed limits are designed to reduce differences, or variations, in vehicle speeds along the sections of Grand Avenue west of Thunderbird Road. According to traffic engineers, the safest conditions occur when most traffic is traveling at nearly the same speed.”
Mr. Klarkowski said the city has limited input on determining speed limits on the state roads.
“Generally speaking, if everybody just followed all the traffic laws we’d be a lot safer in general,” Mr. Klarkowski.
Surprise police aren’t expecting a bigger burden with quicker traffic. The road is primarily patrolled by the Department of Public Safety as it is now.
“Since it’s a state-controlled roadway, it falls into the jurisdiction of Public Safety,” Mr. Klarkowski said. “But if we have an officer that sees something on Grand, we don’t say ‘that’s not our problem.’ We have jurisdiction anywhere in the state.”
Editor’s Note: The City of Surprise contributed to this story.