On Feb. 4, Leander City Council voted to lower a 55 mph speed limit on Old FM 2243 temporarily during a road construction project.

The new speed limits include a 35 mph limit between US 183 and Bagdad Road and a 45 mph limit between Bagdad Road and 1,000 feet west of Lakeline Boulevard.

City Engineer Wayne Watts told the council he originally believed the Old FM 2243 widening project could continue without a reduced speed limit. But since the work began, construction crews told him drivers have been traveling in marked construction zones at unsafe speeds, he said.

Watts said he allowed construction crews to post new speed limit signs Feb. 1. The early posting allowed drivers on Old FM 2243 to know sooner about the lower limits, he said. However, the new speed limits were not legally enforceable until a council vote, he said.

Drivers who violate the new limits could face fines between $50 and $200.

Drivers who violate the new limits while construction workers are present could face higher fines between $100 and $400, according to council agenda materials.

The city road project began Jan. 4, and work is expected to last 18 months. Plans call for Old FM 2243 to be widened from two lanes to four lanes with a center turn lane. Crews will add the new lanes on top of existing drainage ditches, which will become storm sewers. The project includes relocation of electric and water lines as well as the additions of turn lanes for cross streets.

This story has been updated.