The Central Florida Expressway Authority is set to enhance driver safety and traffic flow this summer with the anticipated launch of Flex Lanes. Part of the latest capacity improvement projects on State Road 417 (Central Florida GreeneWay) and State Road 429 (Daniel Webster Western Beltway), this innovative traffic management system will temporarily open the left shoulder to traffic when incidents cause lane closures in one or more of the right lanes.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recognizes this approach as an Advanced Traffic Management Strategy that reduces congestion and improves safety during significant incidents.

Flex Lanes CFX
CFX Flex Lanes
CFX Flex Lanes

Flex Lanes will be controlled via dynamic overhead messaging signs, which will clearly indicate lane status. Green arrows will denote open lanes, while red X’s will indicate closed lanes. Additionally, digital speed limit signs will guide drivers through the corridor at reduced speeds. Additional overhead signs will provide crucial information about roadway conditions ahead.

This traffic management strategy—often referred to as Part-Time Shoulder Use or, in this case, Flex Lanes—is already used in many states across the U.S. and has proven to be a safe, effective way to alleviate congestion during incidents on the roadway. By opening a designated Flex Lane, traffic will have a path to move past crash sites, ensuring safety and smoother traffic flow.

The Flex Lanes are expected to open in the summer of 2024, providing much-needed congestion relief and safer driving conditions on two key expressways in Central Florida. Stay tuned for updates as the Central Florida Expressway Authority rolls out this innovative solution designed to keep drivers moving safely and efficiently.