You’ll be able to drive on the shoulder of Madison’s Beltline later this year; Here’s why

MADISON, Wis. — Starting this March, the Wisconsin DOT is making improvements to Madison’s Beltline between the Whitney Way exit and I-39/90. Drivers will have part-time access to drive on the shoulder after construction of what’s called the Flex Lane is complete.

The project includes resurfacing areas to address deteriorating pavement, improving existing drainage deficiencies, replacing the existing median barrier wall and upgrading the median shoulders to be used as part-time travel lanes.

Project managers say the Flex Lane will be open during peak driving periods to “safely and efficiently improve travel reliability.”

Drivers will know when they can drive in the lane by looking at the changeable message signs located above the lanes. In case of an incident on the Beltline that impacts the Flex Lane, drivers will be instructed by overhead signs to switch back into the general purpose driving lanes until the accident/ incident is cleared.

​Drivers can expect daily single lane closures from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. There will also be off-peak ramp closures at interchanges between I-39/90 and Whitney Way as well as nightly lane closures from 6:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Friday starting this March and lasting through this December.

The Flex Lane is expected to open later this year.