The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

DoT urging 'zipper merge'


May 13, 2020

The New Mexico Department of Transportation is urging motorists to begin adopting what it is calling the "zipper merge" in construction zones.

Motorists in construction zones have traditionally done what is called an early merge - heading to the open lane as soon as signage indicates a lane closure is ahead.

However, state officials said research shows traffic backup lengths are reduced by up to 40% and accident risks are reduced if motorists use both lanes until they reach a defined merge area and then alternate into the open lane.

A demonstration of the technique is available online at:


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