Lane, ramp closures cause Beltline back ups

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 7:22 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - For most of 2021, contractors have been paving the way for the Beltline’s new flex lane, designed to alleviate traffic during rush hours.

However, before traffic will flow freely, the construction is causing some slowdowns.

“There’s a lot happening between those 10 miles of the Madison Beltline,” Steve Theisen, Communications Manager with the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (DOT) said. “So, to maintain that traffic efficiency that we see and provide a safe work zone for the construction crews, we need to have those lane closures.”

Those lane closures currently are scheduled during the day 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. when traffic times are lower.

“We’re seeing a lot more traffic on the Beltline than we had previously in 2020,” Deputy Evan Tilleson, with Dane County’s Motor Service patrol said. “And mixed in with the construction, it’s become really tight quarters.”

Tilleson is encouraging drivers to practice safe driving habits during these times. “We’re trying to get people to slow down and give themselves more room between motorists and construction crews working,” Tilleson said.

Theisen says cooperation from workers and drivers will help speed the process along.

“We will have a better product I the end and there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Theisen said.

“Be patient, slow down. We understand it’s frustrating with the lane closures and the construction, but keep in mind, this isn’t forever, there is an end date,” Tilleson said.

The DOT expects construction to wrap up by the end of the year, with a fully operational flex lane in 2022.

Over the next two weeks, the beltline will see lane closures from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from Whitney Way to John Nolen Drive. The westbound ramps at Fish Hatchery Road and Todd Drive and the eastbound ramp at Todd Drive may see closures during this time as well.

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