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.

As an industry-leading innovator, TAPCO manufactures, distributes and services a wide portfolio of traffic and parking safety solutions designed to increase safe travels for all. Since 1956, we have set the standard for delivering reliable, cutting-edge traffic safety enhancements. From our leading line of LED-enhanced BlinkerSign® solutions to our pedestrian crossing products, safety is at the heart of all TAPCO innovations. For more information, please visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) was officially established in 1967 by combining formerly independent agencies and the Department of Motor Vehicles (which included the State Highway Commission, State Aeronautics Commission and State Patrol).

WisDOT supports all forms of transportation. The department is responsible for planning, building and maintaining Wisconsin's network of state highways and Interstate highway system. The department shares the costs of building and operating county and local transportation systems - from highways to public transit and other modes. WisDOT plans, promotes and financially supports statewide air, rail and water transportation.