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Motorists Asked To Cooperate By Using "Zipper Merge" In Ind. 37 Lane Closures
Updated December 8, 2016 10:19 AM | Filed under: Transportation
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The I-69 Development Partners Team will employ the "zipper merge" technique in long-term lane closures on State Road 37 between Chambers Pike and Old SR 37, and is asking motorists for their help to execute safe merges.

This proven technique has been used elsewhere to reduce delays, but success depends on driver cooperation.
The "zipper merge" is used to move heavy traffic from two lanes into one lane at the point of a lane closure, using the full capacity of both lanes and driver cooperation to reduce delays.

This is how to complete a zipper merge:

  • Motorists cautiously drive in both lanes approaching and up to the lane closure.
  • Drivers then cooperate and take turns merging at the point of the lane closure (like a zipper).

An effective "zipper merge" means drivers in both lanes approach the closure without merging too early, and then carefully employ the zipper technique. Success depends on every car allowing one vehicle to merge in front of them at the merge point. In the interest of safety and efficiency, drivers must also resist the urge to straddle both lanes to keep others from getting around them, which is currently a violation of Indiana law.

Signs associated with the "zipper merge" will be in place 24/7 and should be followed when traffic is heavier. During periods of minimal traffic, drivers should merge earlier when it is safe to do so. I-69 Development Partners urges motorists to exercise caution and drive defensively in all work zones, especially when approaching lane closures.

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