New US-23 Flex Route traffic system to be used for the first time in Michigan

Contact: Kari Arend, MDOT Office of Communications
517-206-1609
Agency: Transportation

Fast facts:
- As part of a major road and bridge improvement project on US-23, a new innovative traffic system called the Flex Route will soon be in operation.
- The Flex Route system uses upgraded median shoulders to better manage congestion and increase safety. The project will be in use on US-23 between M-14 and M-36.
- Information on how to drive the Flex Route can be found on the project website at www.flexroute23.com.

November 13, 2017 -- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has announced a new traffic management system called the Flex Route that will soon be in operation on US-23, just north of Ann Arbor.

The Flex Route is a lane control system comprised of overhead signs, cameras, and electronic message boards. The new system opens the inside median shoulder to traffic during peak periods, such as morning and afternoon rush hours, and during special events and incidents when traffic volumes are heavier. A green arrow on the overhead signs will indicate when the median shoulder is safely available for use. A red X will indicate when the shoulder is closed and not for use as an additional lane. The system will be maintained around-the-clock by MDOT's Statewide Operations Center (STOC) based in Lansing.

"Michigan is well known for our work on connected vehicles and having connected roadways will help us maintain our global leadership in mobility," Gov. Rick Snyder said. "The new Flex Route technology is a winning combination for traffic management, convenience and safety."

"The Flex Route will be used for the first time in Michigan on US-23 just north of M-14," said MDOT University Region Engineer Paul Ajegba. "Using this innovative system is a more economical way to manage peak-hour congestion and increase safety along the corridor."

The Flex Route is part of a $92 million investment along the corridor that included replacing bridges at 6 Mile Road, 8 Mile Road, and N. Territorial Road, repairing bridges at four other locations, extending and upgrading ramps, repairing pavement between M-14 and Silver Lake Road, and expanding Intelligent Transportation Services (ITS) technology.  

During incidents, motorists can see up to a 50 percent savings in travel time when the Flex Route is open and operating. Having the Flex Route in operation is also expected to reduce the number of secondary crashes, thus further increasing safety.

More information about the Flex Route system and how it operates, including informational videos, can be found at www.flexroute23.com.