WisDOT Opens Flex Lane to Combat Congestion on Madison Beltline

TAPCO supports WisDOT with ITS integration and continued maintenance for the new Flex Lane on the Madison Beltline

Brown Deer, Wis. – August 22, 2022 –Traffic and Parking Control Co., Inc. (TAPCO), manufacturer, distributor and service provider of roadway safety innovations, assisted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) in the launch of Wisconsin’s first Flex Lane on the Madison Beltline. The Flex Lane, which extends along a ten-mile stretch from Whitney Way to the I-39/90 interchange, went into operation on July 13, 2022.

Wisconsin is now the 18th state to implement the Dynamic Part-Time Shoulder Use concept, an innovative solution that temporarily converts the shoulder of a freeway into an additional travel lane during periods of heavy traffic. Branded in Wisconsin as the Flex Lane, the median shoulder of the Beltline is a useable lane for several hours during weekday peak travel times. Outside of those times, the shoulder is closed for emergency use only. A dynamic message sign sits above the Flex Lane, indicating if it’s open for use. When open, the message sign displays a bright green arrow, and when the lane is closed, a red ‘X’ appears. WisDOT intends to collect data on other heavy traffic times on the Beltline to expand the use of the Flex Lane — like the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badger football games.

The Flex Lane features Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and detection systems to determine when obstructions are present, such as car accidents or emergency vehicles. If an obstruction is detected when the Flex Lane is open, the overhead signs display a yellow ‘X’, notifying drivers to exit the lane. The overhead sign returns to a green arrow when the Flex Lane opens again.

TAPCO supported WisDOT in the installation and ITS integration of the Flex Lane launch. And TAPCO continues to work with WisDOT, delivering onsite and remote service maintenance while the Flex Lane is in operation. TAPCO is accountable for 24/7 support of the Flex Lane to ensure it is kept operational, providing accelerated response times, thorough preventative maintenance and repairs when necessary.

The speed limit for the Beltline remains 55 mph in all lanes, and drivers are encouraged to keep following traffic laws to ensure safe travels. WisDOT has also released a video outlining how to use the Flex Lane.

Since 1956, TAPCO has provided standard and custom traffic safety and parking solutions to every level of government, as well as private businesses. As a third-generation, family-owned company, TAPCO proudly serves communities across the United States, Canada and beyond to provide safe travels to millions.

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