A project to allow better traffic flow on a local freeway has been recognized with an award.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America is holding their Annual Meeting this week at Cobo Center in Detroit. On Monday, ITS held an award ceremony and selected the US-23 Flex Route project in Washtenaw and Livingston counties as the Transportation Systems Operations project of the year. It beat out six competing projects from across the country.

The Flex Route provides additional capacity during peak travel times on US-23 between 9 Mile Road and M-14 by opening the median shoulder to traffic, which officials say improves traffic speeds and incident response, and provides advance notice of upcoming conditions. Flex Route is monitored 24/7 by MDOT’s Statewide Transportation Operations Center, which houses dispatchers from MDOT and Michigan State Police. The agencies share information by monitoring traffic sensors, distress calls and video feeds from closed-circuit cameras.

If a traffic condition develops, the Flex Route is adjusted through electronic control signs above each lane. The signs show motorists which lanes are available and provide the recommended speed for current travel conditions. The $92 million project also included replacing the overpasses at 6 Mile, 8 Mile, and N. Territorial roads. (JK)