Michigan DOT opens 'flex lanes' ease highway congestion

- For the first time, Michigan will open special lanes on highway median shoulders to ease traffic congestion caused by rush hour or crashes.

The “flex route” was unveiled Monday for northbound and southbound U.S. 23 between Ann Arbor and Brighton. It’s Michigan’s most heavily congested corridor outside of metropolitan Detroit.

The Michigan Department of Transportation hopes to begin operating the system this week.

The median shoulder lanes will be opened and closed during peak periods using electronic message boards. The flex route isn’t a true third lane because there’s no full shoulder.

It’s cheaper than building a full lane.

Gov. Rick Snyder helped unveil the flex route at a rest stop north of Ann Arbor. He says “connected roadways will help us maintain our global leadership in mobility.”

MDOT put together a series of videos to explain how the flex lane will work. Watch it below or on YouTube:

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