The department recently introduced new technology in several busy work zones aimed at reducing backups, easing congestion and improving safety when two lanes of traffic merge into one lane.
The Dynamic Zipper Merge uses speed sensors on the side of the highway several miles before drivers must move into a single lane in work zones. The sensors feed data to a message board that changes based on the traffic patterns approaching the work zone.
This type of merge is intended to work like a zipper. By encouraging drivers to use both lanes up to the merger point, and then to take turns getting into the single lane, they experience less stop and go traffic, reducing backups and making travel safer.
The technology is being tested to see where it may help in other work zones.