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Monday, April 24, 2017

First zipper merge in southwestern Arizona scheduled on Interstate 10 Tuesday, April 25

Drivers traveling on Interstate 10 in La Paz County should plan for the region’s first zipper merge as they approach and drive through an active work zone about 37 miles east of the California border. The Arizona Department of Transportation will use a zipper merge on eastbound I-10 between mileposts 37 and 39 on Tuesday, April 25, while crews complete pavement testing.

Eastbound I-10 will be narrowed to one lane in the work zone from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Eastbound drivers should slow down to 45 mph and prepare for the zipper merge as they approach the lane restriction.

The zipper-merge technique calls for drivers to resist the urge to merge early. Instead, drivers remain in both lanes until they see signs that say “merge here” and “take turns merging.” Then, they take turns entering the open travel lane.

Using a zipper merge can reduce the length of a traffic backup by up to 40 percent, according to the Federal Highway Administration, while providing more predictable driver behavior. Keeping traffic in both lanes longer enhances safety by reducing the speed differential between the lanes.

So far, ADOT has used zipper merges to ease traffic congestion in Phoenix and Tucson-area work zones. Watch a short video and read a blog about zipper merges here.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions and closures, but it’s possible that unscheduled impacts might occur because of weather or other factors. For the most current information about highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511,except while driving.

For more information, please contact the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov.

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