We have all been there before, just cruising down the highway while enjoying the scenery as it zooms by. Then when we notice a sign on the side of the highway, “Construction Zone Ahead”. Looking out into the distance it is easy to see that the right lane is blocked and everyone is trying to merge into the left lane. Now the highway battle has begun. Drivers are fighting for a spot to merge into the left lane as soon as possible. This used to be the standard practice at every construction zone.
However, the DOT has found a much better solution for merging that can increase the traffic flow through a construction zone by 40% - 50%. This new method is referred to as “Zipper Merge”. This method works best in situations when highway traffic is dense.
For best results drivers need to use both lanes all the way up to the point where traffic cones indicate to merge. At the merge point vehicles need to take alternating turns to combine into a single, slow moving, lane of traffic through the construction zone. The best way of looking at the zipper merging method is not one lane merging into another but two lanes merging into one.
Still a little confused? Well check out the short video below made by the DOT.
All of our articles are written by various members of the TDC team.