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FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2007
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Speed limit to drop at 'malfunction junction'

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — The speed limit is dropping at Alabama's busiest highway intersection, the so-called "malfunction junction."

Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday approved lowering the speed limit from 60 mph to 50 mph for all vehicles traveling near the Interstate 65 interchange with Interstate 20/59 in downtown Birmingham.

The interchange has been the scene of numerous wrecks in recent years, including several in which 18-wheelers carrying huge steel coils spilled their loads on the interstate, causing more than $200,000 in damage each time on average.

Excessive speed has been a factor in most of the accidents, and the Alabama Department of Transportation recommended lowering the speed limit.

The new, 50 mph speed limit affects a four-mile stretch of I-59 and a three-mile section of I-65. The maximum speed will drop to 45 mph for one mile on I-20, according to Riley's office.

Temporary signs with the new speed limit are supposed to be in place by next week.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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