Utah DOT Tackling Congestion Issues with State’s First Flex Lanes System

AASHTO Journal, 9 November 2012

In an effort to improve mobility and reduce congestion during peak traffic hours in Salt Lake City, the Utah Department of Transportation has implemented the state’s first Flex Lanes system.

Opening Wednesday, the new Flex Lanes provide four eastbound lanes, a center turn lane, and two westbound lands during morning rush hour. Those will all be reversed in the evening when commuters are leaving work, providing four westbound lanes, a center turn lane, and two eastbound lanes. This lane movement is part of a larger plan to improve east-west mobility in western Salt Lake City.

“Flex Lanes will allow us to open a lane when we need it, where we need it,” said UDOT Project Manager Brandon Weston in a statement. “Their implementation will efficiently improve traffic flow along 5400 South between Redwood Road and Bangerter Highway.”

Utah’s Flex Lanes will be monitored and controlled from the UDOT Traffic Operations Center control room. Drivers will be notified of current lane configurations through electronic overhead signs. Green arrows indicate lanes are open to drivers, while a red “X” shows that lane is available only to opposing traffic. A yellow “X” means the lane is currently in transition so all drivers must merge right.

Additional information on UDOT’s use of a Flex Lanes system is available at bit.ly/UDOTflex.

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