The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) is examining a range of alternatives to improve the Madison Beltline’s deteriorating pavement and median areas, and to address operational issues during weekday peak traffic periods.

A public involvement meeting is scheduled for from 5-8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the community room at The Village on Park, 2300 South Park St., Madison. Brief, formal presentations are scheduled for 5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The objectives for the meeting include explaining the identified needs for the corridor, outlining options to address identified needs and gathering public input.

One option includes resurfacing the pavement, making drainage improvements and replacing deteriorated sections of median barrier wall.

The DOT is also considering upgrades to the median shoulders so motorists can use them as travel lanes. The shoulder lanes would be open during peak travel hours.

Officials said the added capacity would improve traffic mobility and safety along the Beltline between Interstate 39/90 and Whitney Way. This section currently handles 120,000 vehicles per day. The practice, known as dynamic part-time shoulder use, is currently in place in at least 17 states.

Part-time shoulder use is recognized as a safe, sustainable and reliable way to alleviate congestion, officials said. It allows vehicle traffic on paved shoulders during peak travel times. Changeable message signs would be used to indicate when the shoulder is available for use.

In addition to the mobility improvements, shoulder modifications minimize impacts to the environment, do not require additional real estate acquisition from adjacent residences and businesses, and could be implemented as early as 2021.

The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the proposed options and provide input.

Those unable to attend the meeting or wanting more information should contact Brandon Lamers at 246-3852. Written comments regarding the project can be mailed to Brandon Lamers, WisDOT Southwest Region Office, 2101 Wright St, Madison, WI 53704 or emailed to brandon.lamers@dot.wi.gov.

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