Construction crews in 2021 made substantial improvements to the Madison Beltline (US 12/18) from I-39/90 to Whitney Way in Dane County. Work included pavement resurfacing, improved drainage and installation of a new median barrier wall.

The project also paved the way for an innovative system branded in Wisconsin as the Flex Lane. Crews improved the inside median shoulders, between the Whitney Way exit and the I-39/90 interchange, for use as an additional travel lane during peak traffic periods.

Construction on the Beltline is scheduled to pause for the winter with the exception of the installation and testing of the Lane Control Signs.

Due to the widely known global shortage of software chips, WisDOT does not anticipate completing the installation of the Flex Lane signs and components until spring 2022. The Flex Lane is currently expected to be operational in summer 2022 following the successful testing of the system.

Ongoing operational analysis of the Beltline revealed that a design modification on a short segment of eastbound US 12/18, between Verona Road and Todd Drive, will improve mobility and overall traffic operations. Modifications include:

  • Extension of the auxiliary lane between the Todd Drive off-ramp and Todd Drive on-ramp; and
  • Widening of the eastbound bridge over Todd Drive for the auxiliary lane extension.

This construction work is expected to take three months in spring/summer 2022.

The Flex Lane system is an innovative and cost-effective solution to improve safety; enhance travel time reliability; and maximize sustainability on the Madison Beltline. Information about the Flex Lane, including a narrated presentation about the project, can be found at

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