Just Ask Us: What do 'Blue Route' signs on highway mean?

Just Ask Us: What do 'Blue Route' signs on highway mean?

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Q: What are the Blue Route signs posted along Highway 30 west as you come into Madison? What is a Blue Route?

A: The Blue Route, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, is an alternate route for use during crashes and other emergencies that cause major delays or closures on the interstate highways near Madison.

The Blue Route follows Stoughton Road from its intersection with the Beltline to its intersection with Interstate 39-90-94 north of the Dane County Regional Airport.

When a delay occurs in the Madison area, State Patrol can remotely activate signs on the Interstate, which will direct traffic off the Interstate and onto the Blue Route.

The Blue Route is not the only alternate route along Wisconsin interstates. Sgt. Greg Jenswold of the State Patrol's Southwest Region said the color-coded routes exist throughout the state.

Jenswold estimated that the Blue Route is only activated a couple times a year.

"It's used as little as possible. ... Our first preference is almost always to keep the traffic on the mainline. Some of these alternate routes take drivers seven or eight miles out of the way," he said.

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