Beltline Flex Lanes’ opening delayed to summer 2022 due to computer chip shortage

MADISON, Wis. — Madison drivers should not expect to be able to use the new Flex Lanes on the Beltline until next summer, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said Friday.

In a news release, WisDOT cited the global computer chip shortage as a factor in the project’s delay. The department now plans to install signage and other components in the spring and open the Flex Lanes in the summer after testing.

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Flex Lanes will allow drivers to use the inside shoulder of both the eastbound and westbound Beltline between Whitney Way and Interstate 39/90 to help alleviate congestion during peak hours. Overhead signs will let drivers know when the lanes are open.

In January, WisDOT said it expected the lanes to open later this year, a timeline that has since been pushed back. Construction on the Flex Lanes began in March.

Flex Lane Wisdot

Courtesy: WisDOT

Work is set to pause for the winter and pick back up in the spring. At that time, WisDOT said crews will finish installing the remaining overhead signs, work on asphalt paving in some areas and finish pavement markings.

Also in the spring and summer, WisDOT crews will extend an eastbound auxiliary lane between the ramps at Todd Drive. The department said that change came about as a result of further analysis of the Flex Lane project.

The Flex Lane project on the Beltline is the first time they have been used in Wisconsin, WisDOT said.

For more details on the project, click here.