ANN ARBOR, Mich. – As the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) prepares to implement a flex route system on a stretch of US-23 new billboards along the highway now advertise the traffic system.
MDOT said this will be the state's first flex route system. It's expected to be completed and operating by mid-to-late November on US-23 north of Ann Arbor between M-14 and M-36. Drivers will see what MDOT calls a lane control system comprised of overhead signs, cameras, and electronic message boards.
The system will notify drivers about when the shoulder lane can be accessed. It also will offer drivers suggested speed limits during congested traffic periods and indicators for when and in which direction to merge.
MDOT said this stretch of US-23 is known for three-hour pulses of heavy rush hour traffic. The transportation department expects the flex route will reduce the rush hour drive time through this stretch by about 20 minutes.
"As we get closer to making the Flex Route fully operational, we want to make sure that motorists understand both how the system works and how it can improve their travel times through this corridor," said Mark Sweeney, MDOT Brighton Transportation Service Center (TSC) manager. "Beginning the first of November, we will step up our efforts to get this important information out."
Here's a quick video explainer of how the system works:
Here's a closer look at what's on the billboard: