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Drivers, get ready to see the “zipper merge” in action near Zoo Interchange

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Construction managers with the Zoo Interchange project are trying something new -- something drivers may have to get used to. It's called the "dynamic late" or "zipper merge." It's a creative road-sharing solution which urges drivers to continue using all available lanes until they reach what's known as the "merge point."

"The way that a zipper merge works is you use all three lanes of active traffic up to that point. We will have signs up, reminding motorists to alternate, when they get to the barrels," said Michael Pyritz of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Pyritz understands this is not the standard driving strategy in the Badger State.

"Wisconsin drivers and people in general, they're very polite, and we get in line early. We, you know, make sure that everyone sort of follows the rules. If we have 16 items, we don't go in the 15-item lane at the grocery store," said Pyritz.

The zipper merge will be found on the east leg of the Zoo Interchange -- from 70th Street to the actual interchange.

Related links:

  • CLICK HERE to learn more about the zipper merge from WisDOT
  • CLICK HERE for the latest "Get Around Guide"


  • El gato

    Wisconsin drivers are NOT polite! A huge percentage tailgate, speed, chat on cell phones, and certainly aren’t about to let other drivers merge in ahead of them!

  • justsaying

    Like, you think this is going to work? Or Not! All you; ” polite and respectful ” drivers in construction zones please raise your hands. I said Hands! Not Fingers!

  • R

    Simply put, the zipper merge assumes people won’t wait until the last minute to merge, then honk at you and give you the finger like you’re the idiot.

    If you’ve drove more than five minutes in this state you know people are lazy, impatient, and stupid behind the wheel. You can have ‘lane ending’ signs and barrels f or two miles and people will still jam as far forward as humanely possible. Ex., 43 northbound north of silver spring at, oh, 4pm.

  • DDD

    Wisconsin drivers and people in general, they’re very polite, and we get in line early. We, you know, make sure that everyone sort of follows the rules. If we have 16 items, we don’t go in the 15-item lane at the grocery store,” said Pyritz.
    This statement is FALSE! I believe we have the WORST inconsiderate drivers around. I deal with the lane closures every night in Milwaukee, people ALWAYS have to get ahead of you…Ticks me off to no end, they see the 2 lanes ahead are closed…but NOOOOO, they have to ZOOM passed everyone and cause more congestion…I don’t see this happening.

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