Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Zipper Merge comes to Kansas

We are starting a new feature called Work Zone Wednesday that will highlight projects around the state. Today's feature is about the zipper merge. The zipper merge is popular in Minnesota and has been used in Washington state as well. It's a common question that KDOT gets on social media, when will Kansas use the zipper merge instead of backing up traffic for miles, use the zipper merge?

But what's the zipper merge?

The zipper merge asks traffic to stay in both lanes until they are told to merge, then take turns of every other car going until you are in one lane, flowing together like the teeth of zipper.

KDOT will be using the zipper merge, or late merge, on a bridge repair project in the Kansas City area, northbound U.S. 69 over 119th Street in Overland Park. It is important that drivers follow the signs instead of using the traditional early merge that has been used in Kansas for years. Don't lane block your fellow drivers, the two lanes are both to be used while traveling.

We've created this video to explain how the zipper merge will work in Kansas. For more information about the zipper merge and the project that it will be used on, please look here. And please zip the urge to merge!


  1. The Zipper Merge is a great idea. The problem is getting motorists to cooperate, to use both lanes, and take turns at the merge point.

    I think there should be either new signage, specific to the zipper merge, (like perhaps showing dashed lines coming together), or adequate use of existing sings instructing, "Use both Lanes" and "Merge Point Ahead" and "Take Turns Merging".

    This issue of merging for construction, where selfish drivers shoot to the front of the line causing the rest of us to have to wait a long time is the number one irritation in my book.

  2. You cannot plan ahead and suddenly you are in a merge lane. Very frustrating. And like it was stated people are not courteous.

  3. Lets start by not lowering the speed limit and posting signs for 2 damn miles before we even need to begin to think about maybe merging soon.

    But in all seriousness, yes additional signs indicating that merging early is not desirable and a "merge here" would help too.

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