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Published May 06, 2013, 05:23 PM

MN DOT pushes for "zipper merging" to help with construction backup

Minnesota (WDAY TV) -- You're going to notice a big change on Minnesota highways this summer. MN DOT is pushing a new strategy, to get vehicles through construction zones more efficiently.

Minnesota (WDAY TV) -- You're going to notice a big change on Minnesota highways this summer. MN DOT is pushing a new strategy, to get vehicles through construction zones more efficiently.

It's called "zipper merging," and to make it work, the signage will be changing this summer in cone zones.

This is what the Minnesota-DOT is trying to avoid this summer, traffic merging early in construction zones, backing up 1 lane with the other wide open.

Jerimiah Moerke/MnDOT Public Affairs: "we all have it in our heads that the nice thing to do is get over to the left lane and then we get upset when someone zips past us but really the nice thing to do is to use both lanes."

The new push is for "zipper merging." Signage will be moved closer to cone zones and you're asked to go all the way up to the cones before merging 1 at a time.

Moerke: "there's actually or hopefully going to be less road rage."

This is focused on heavy traffic areas like the Twin Cites, but still encouraged on main arteries in our area. I-94 by the Buffalo River last summer is a great example of where this would work, we saw multiple accidents there and traffic backed up for miles on the weekend.

The catch, with this, it's still safest to merge early if you're at highway speed. Zipper merging is for when traffic is congested.

Lines get backed up, 40-percent more, when drivers don't use the zipper technique.

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