Kansas Department of Transportation introduces zipper merge for US 69 repair project

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 19:35:15-04

On July 5, weather permitting, the Kansas Department of Transportation will begin a project to repair the northbound U.S. 69 Bridge over 119th Street in Overland Park.

According to a news release from KDOT, work will take place during daylight hours, Monday through Friday with some occasional Saturdays. The project is scheduled to be completed in late November 2016, weather permitting.

According to KDOT’s news release, starting July 5, northbound U.S. 69 over the 119th Street Bridge will be reduced to one lane, during the project duration.

KDOT will be introducing the "zipper merge" method of traffic control on this project to direct motorists through the work zone during peak commute times and other heavily congested periods.

What is a zipper merge?

According to KDOT’s news release:

When a lane is closed in a construction zone, the "zipper merge" occurs when drivers use both lanes of traffic up until reaching the defined merge area, where they then alternate turns in zipper fashion into the open lane. When traffic is light, drivers will be directed through the work zone via the standard early merge traffic control.

Drivers sometimes straddle the center line trying to block a lane for oncoming traffic wishing to merge. KDOT said that is illegal and drivers can be ticket for it.

Watch KDOT’s explanation on the "zipper merge" below:

Are there alternate routes?   

According to a news release from KDOT, drivers should expect major traffic delays during peak commute times. They are encouraged to allow extra time for their commutes or seek alternate routes. KDOT’s suggested alternate routes include:

  • West of U.S. 69 – Quivira Road or Switzer Road
  • East of U.S. 69 – Antioch Road, Metcalf Avenue or Nall Avenue

Photo of possible alternate routes courtesy KDOT. 

What will the project include?

KDOT says the project work includes bridge deck patching and a concrete overlay followed by all new pavement markings. It also includes an asphalt overlay on the northbound U.S. 69 at 119th Street entrance and exit ramps.

According to KDOT, PCI Roads, LLC (St. Michael, MN) is the primary contractor on this bridge repair project with a total contract cost of $565,385. The project is scheduled to be completed in late November 2016.



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