TRAFFIC: Michigan DOT putting U.S. 23 congestion relief on its shoulders

Converting shoulders into reversible lanes could save $60 million over building new lane

Traffic Management News The Detroit News December 24, 2013
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Traffic on U.S. 23 in Michigan will hopefully get a boost in the near future, as the Michigan DOT announced plans to experiment with reversible shoulder lanes. If the measure proves successful, the department could begin implementing it in other areas across the state.


For the first test, MDOT will focus on an 8.5-mile stretch of U.S. 23 outside Detroit. During peak periods, the road would expand from two lanes to three in each direction. When the shoulder is open to traffic, a green arrow will alert drivers. A red X will be displayed when the lane is closed. Engineers will be able to monitor the section via traffic cameras from the MDOT operations center.


The shoulder-lane measure was chosen as a cost-effective way for MDOT to address congestion concerns without further stretching its already-limited financial resources. Including the shoulder improvements and new technology, the entire project cost will be $40 million. Adding a whole new lane would cost $100 million.


An average of 66,000 vehicles travel the concerned stretch of U.S. 23 every day. Construction on the project could start as early as 2016.

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